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I. — The War from its Commencement to the 

Death of Pericles .... 1 

II. — The War from the Death of Pericles 

to the Peace of Nicias . . .86 

HI. — Italy and Sicily 209 

IV. — The War from the Peace of Nicias to 

the End of the Sicilian Expedition 285 

V. — The Decelean War 414 

Appendix 587 

Index to Vol. III. . • . 593 








TnE blessings of the years of peace which the Athe- 
nians owed to Pericles contained at the same time the 
germ of an inevitable war. The confederate communities 
could not reconcile themselves to the annihilation of their 
independence ; the splendor of Athens was an abomina- 
tion to the Megareans and the Boeotians ; and not less so 
to the Peloponnesians, and particularly to the Spartans 
(whose jealousy, it will be remembered, had already been 
so vehemently provoked by the first rise of the Athenian 
power, after the expulsion of the Pisistratidae). With 
what feelings, then, must they now have glanced across 
the sea upon Athens ! They confined themselves, how- 
ever, to wrath instead of deeds; and although they 
bitterly resented the changes by which they were con- 
stantly driven further back from their position of promi- 
nence, yet this resentment on their part resulted in no 
resolutions for action. Athens, on the other hand, most 
carefully avoided giving any occasion for hostilities ; and 
since the time when Pericles had the disposal of the 

2 History of Greece. [ B <x>* IV. 

pecuniary resources in his hands, he is even said to have 
expended an annual sum of ten talents, with the view of 
counteracting the influence of the war-party at Sparta. 
However incredible it may appear, yet it is not improba- 
ble that he in this way took advantage of the weak sides 
of the adversary. Pericles, though unwilling to purchase 
peace, yet wished to retain in his hands the power of 
determining the commencement of the war; it was, there- 
fore, necessary for him to possess influence at Sparta, 
where public feeling was in a continual state of flux and 
reflux. Corinth alone among all the enemies of Athens, 
possessed an independent, definite and active policy of her 

Corinth was a trading city, which could 
of Corinth? no ^ ex ist without a navy and colonies. She 
was necessarily jealous of every state which 
disputed the rule of the sea with her, and endangered her 
lines of communication by water. In order to humiliate 
iEgina, the Corinthians had formerly supported Athens 
(vol. ii. p. 262). Their dissatisfaction was in consequence 
doubly great, when they saw the beginnings of the Attic 
navy, which they had originally despised, grow to an 
importance which soon left far behind that of the 
Corinthian navy. In vain they had during the Persian 
wars endeavored to place obstacles in the way of Athens' 
triumphal career (vol. ii. p. 320) ; in vain protested 
against the building of the walls (vol. ii. p. 360) ; the 
condition of their affairs only became worse and worse. 
For, since the foundation of the Attic alliance, they not 
only saw themselves excluded from all the glory and ail 

• Theophrastus' statement as to the bribes sent year by year to Sparta 
(Plut. Pericl. 23) is probably founded on the circumstance that Pericles 
introduced into the budget of state the rubric, «'? Stop, e£s to SeW. This 
was a secret service fund, as to the expenditure of which the confidence 
of the citizens excused the statesman managing foreign affairs from 
giving any account. Cf. Boeckh, P. E. p. 195, note (E. Tr.). 

Chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 3 

the fruits of Hellenic naval victories ; but their own 
colonies, Potidsca in particular, fell into the hands of 
Athens, their influence in the Archipelago was anni- 
hilated, and their trade with Asia at an end. When, 
finally, Megara and Achaia opened their ports to the 
Athenians, and Naupactus (through the Messenians) 
became an Attic naval station (vol. ii. p. 442), they were 
no longer the masters even in their own waters. Nor had 
the Messenians any intention of remaining inactive, but 
immediately made their town a harbor of war ; and 
directly after their settlement, undertook an expedition of 
conquest in a western direction, into the country of the 
Achelous, distinguished by its fertility, where they could 
inflict the greatest damage upon the powers of Corinth 
(vol. i. p. 21)0). It was, doubtless, in consequence of an 
understanding with Athens, that they chose CEniadse as 
the goal of this enterprise, a city fortified by walls and 
morasses in the lower valley of the Achelous, which had 
always shown itself faithful to the Corinthians and hostile 
to the Athenians. They took the city and maintained 
themselves in it for the space of a year, until an army, 
composed of the neighboring tribes of Acarnania, forced 
them to evacuate it. Immediately afterwards, an Attic 
fleet under Pericles appeared at the mouth of the 
Achelous (vol. ii. p. 442) ; and although his attempt to 
recapture CEniadaB resulted in failure, the Corinthians 
saw themselves continually threatened in their most neces- 
sary colonial territories, and were reduced to a regular 
state of blockade.* 

The Thirty Years' Peace at last restored 

freedom of operations to them; and they Aimsandmca- 

sures of her 
took breath once more. .But they were policy. 

well aware that Athens would seize upon 

* Pausan. iv. 25. C. H. Plass has brought out the extent of the Attic 
empire in the Western Sea as one of the main causes of the war. Ueber 
d. Ursachen d. archidam. Kricgs. Stader Program. 1858-9. 

4 History of Greece. [Book 

the first opportunity to recover a position of power in 1 
Western Sea. Moreover, the cities of Achaia were not 
be relied upon ; Acarnania also, over whose coasts Corii 
wished to rule, was unfavorable to her, and inclir 
towards the Athenians ; the island of Zacynthus h 
always proved itself an enemy to the Peloponnesi 
confederation ; Naupactus still lay like a sentry at 1 
entrance of the gulf; and it was known what was to 
expected from the unquiet Messenians, venturesome 
land and by sea alike, the deadly foes of Sparta a 
her allies, and at the same time unreservedly devol 
to Athens. Accordingly, as was clearly perceived 
Corinth! everything depended upon attracting moreclos< 
to her the coast-towns and islands which had remaii 
true to the Peloponncsian interests, and upon resuming 
intimate intercourse with her colonies. In short, Corir 
was the single state whose watchful eye pursued the cou 
of Athens, and which was in secret unremittingly eugag 
in maintaining a good understanding with Delphi a 
Thebes, as well as with the maritime towns of Argo 
Corinth attached Megara (which had been estranged fr< 
her for fifteen years) as closely as possible to herse 
encouraged the intercourse of her own citizens with E 
and the Ionian Islands ; and endeavored to secure hers* 
in any case a reserve in Sparta and the Peloponnesi 
confederation. Corinth could be actuated by no otl 
motive than that of founding a naval power by uniti 
these scattered forces — a power which in the Western s< 
at all events would be capable of opposing the Att 
and her measures were naturally directed towards t 
establishment of a hegemony in these regions, and towai 
preserving her western colonies and allies free from t 
contact of all interference on the part of other stat 
For this reason, in the Samian war (vol. ii. p. 519), t 
Corinthians voted against the intervention of the Pelopc 
nesians, because they wished to see the principle of nc 

Chap. L] TJie War to the Death of Pericles. 5 

intervention, which the Athenians had asserted on their 
own account, acknowledged also in all matters concerned 
with the policy of Corinth. 

The Corinthians were not without important supports 
in the prosecution of this policy. In the first place, the 
populous and warlike city of the Ambraciotes faithfully 
adhered to Corinth, and together with the island of Leucas 
(Santa Maura) and Anactorium commanded the Ambra- 
cian Gulf (Bay of Artd). In Acamania, besides Anac- 
torium, CEniadae was faithful, and of the other peoples of 
the mainland the ^Etolians and Epirotes. On the other 
hand, no state was a greater obstacle in the way of the 
Corinthian policy than Corcyra, which had 
early attained to a high degree of indepen- Relations be- 

. . . . _ . twcen Corinth 

aence in its contests with .bpirotes ana and Corcyra,. 
Illyrians, so that since the memory of man 
it had always obstinately opposed itself to the Corinthians. 
Corcyra had revolted against Corinth first in the time of 
the Bacchiadse (vol. i. p. 460), and again after the flourish- 
ing age of Corinth under Periander ; she had long 
renounced all the pious duties of a daughter-city, and, 
with her navy of 120 triremes, was at any moment pre- 
pared to assert her absolute independence. 

The Corcyrseans enjoyed small popularity in the Greek 
world. In consequence of their rapid success and acquisi- 
tion of wealth, they had become arrogant and proud of 
their financial prosperity ; they treated foreign vessels 
seeking a refuge in their port with arbitrary harshness, 
while their own ships rarely made their appearance in 
foreign harbors. Their selfish commercial policy kept a 
jealous guard over the maritime domain in the centre of 
which their city lay ; they had no consideration for 
national interests, and deemed an armed neutrality the 
most favorable attitude for taking advantage of their for- 
tunate position in the midst of the Greek, Illyrian, 
Italian, and Sicilian coasts. As soon, then, as Corinth 

6 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

more openly displayed her intention of advancing her 
maritime and colonial dominion, a renewal of the ancient 
feud was inevitable. Moreover, several coast-towns had 
formerly been founded in common by Corinth and Cor- 
cyra, and the mixture of population had already given rise 
to several quarrels. Thus, in particular, a dispute had 
arisen with reference to the claims of either city to 
metropolitan rights in Leucas, which dispute Themisto- 
cles, when chosen umpire, had settled in iavor of Obrcyra. 
More serious complications were inevitable ; and arrived 
sooner than had been expected.* 

Fifteen miles to the north of the Acroceraunian pro- 
montory, which forms the boundary between the Ionian 
and Adriatic seas, lay on a projecting tongue of land the 
city of Epidamnus (afterwards Dyrrha- 
EpidaJnus. ' chium, and at the present day Durazzo), 
founded by Corcyra, at the time of Perian- 
der's accession to power (vol. i. p. 297). Epidamnus had 
become great and wealthy by means of the trade with 
Illyria (vol. i. p. 460), and was full of slaves and an in- 
dustrial population of foreigners. The noble families 
had, notwithstanding, maintained themselves in power, 
and formed a strictly exclusive aristocracy, out of which 
a chief of the state was chosen, who ruled over the whole 
administration with an authority little short of regal. 
This municipal hereditary aristocracy itself carried on the 
land and sea trade, in the form of a mercantile company, 
which, through a commissary, managed the sale of wine, 
manufactures, &c, in the interior for the common account. 
The wholesale trade was accordingly a monopoly of the 
aristocratic families ; the manufacturing industry was car- 
ried on by public slaves ; while the citizens were confined 
to agriculture, coast-navigation, and retail trade; the 
intention being in this way to keep them more easily in a 

* Plut. Them. 24 ; Thuc. i. 136. 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericl 7 

state of political tufc [age and dependence. This state of 
affairs continued t<> exist for a long time, and was pro- 
bably not shaken, until the foreign relations of the city 
w n- endangered by hostilities on the part of the Illyrians, 
on account of which the whole community had to be 
called upon for greater exertions in the public service. 
The first innovation was the establishment of a wider 
council, the aristocratic class bring thus deprived of its 
exclusive rights of government. Such isolated conces- 
sions, however, failed to bring about a pacification ; the 
city suffered under a mixture of aristocratic and demo- 
cratic institutions which could not possibly endure ; and 
finally a revolt broke out, in consequence of which the 
noble families were expelled from Epidamnus. The fami- 
lies joined the Illyrians, in order, with the assistance of the 
latter, to reconquer their native city; and the civic com- 
munity, under its new institutions, was involved in great 
trouble. Help was accordingly sought from abroad, in 
the first instance from Corcyra. But here the public 
feeling was extremely unfavorable to the applicants. 
For Corcyra itself, like most Greek states at this time, 
suffered from over-population and political agitation; 
the governing families, who were anxiously active in 
opposing the growing claims of the popular body, dis- 
approved of the revolution iu Epidamnus ; and the en- 
voys, in obedience to the bidding of the Delphic god, 
repaired to Corinth.* 

At the latter city it was immediately determined to 
take advantage of the opportunity ; for no conjuncture 
could have been more favorable for restoring the hege- 
mony of Corinth in the Ionian Sea. Under cover of the 
authority of Delphi, a Hellenic civic community, de- 
serted by its mother-city, might be protected against the 

* As to the constitutional difficulties at Epidamnus, see Plut. Q, 
Gr. 29. 

8 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

barbarians and the native partisans allied with them : at 
the same time, it was hoped that Epidamnus would offer a 
strong position of the highest value ; and, therefore, aid 
was promised only on condition of the Epidamnians 
giving admittance t^ Corinthian settlers and to a Co« 
rinthian garrison. Furthermore, an army was immedi' 
ately sent by land by way of Apollouia to Epidamnus, 
so as to strengthen the popular community and succor the 
city in its dangerous position. 

This step was the signal for the outbreak of the war ; 
for the Corcyraeaus had no intention of allowing their 
colony to pass into the hands of the enemy. Forty 
Corcyraean vessels took up a position off Epidamnus, and 
threatened every conceivable measure of force, unless the 
new settlers were at once dismissed. But the city placed 
her reliance upon Corinth ; which manned thirty ships of 
war, and issued a proclamation to all the inhabitants to 
take part in a larger settlement in Epidamnus either per- 
sonally or by a pecuniary contribution. Corinth further 
called to arms all her allies, and obtained advances of 
money from Thebes and Phlius ; so chat the Corcyraeaus, 
surprised by this display of energy, made serious over- 
tures for a pacific solution of the difficulty. They were, 
for their part, extremely disinclined to seek foreign aid, 
and went so far as even to offer to submit the settlement 
of the dispute to Delphi. At the same time, they gave 
the Corinthians to understand that, in case of a refusal of 
their offers, they would take steps which must prove dis- 
advantageous to either state. 

But it was no longer possible either to 
of Arctium. 01. frighten or to restrain Corinth. She de- 
lxxxvi. 2. (b. c. c l ar ed war, and despatched a fleet of 

435-4.) , ' . r, .,11 

seventy-live ships, which sailed along the 
coast up to Epidamnus. The inlet of the Ambracian 
Gulf the Corcyraeans regarded as the boundary of their 
domain : at this point they accordingly once more called 

Chap. I.] Tlve War to Uie Death of Pericles. 9 

upon (he fleet to return; and when all their representa- 
tions remained ineffectual, put bo Bea with all the ships 
they had in port, and completely defeated the Corinth- 
ians. On the, same day Epidamnufl capitulated ; so that 
the Corcyraiaus were now masters of the whole Ionian 
Sea: and in consilience the shores of the hostile allies 
were plundered as far down as Elis. These events hap- 
pened 01. lxxxvi. 2 (autumn of 435 or spring of 434 
b. a). 

Thus the civic dispute within the walls 

of an Illyrian city had ended in the out- Corinthian and 
tt ii • n Oorcyraan en- 

break of a Hellenic war, of which the voys at Athens. 

limits could no longer be confined within 

the frontiers of any definite territory. For neither of the 

belligerent states had any thought of giving way ; and 

neither of them could calculate, with its present resources, 

upon coming forth victorious from the war. The space 

of two entire years was consumed in levies, armaments, 

and foreign negotiations ; for the Corcyrieans without 

delay carried out their threats ; and the Corinthians, for 

their part also, were now obliged to send envoys to their 

worst enemies, in order to prevent a union between the 

latter and Corcyra. Thus the question at issue between 

the two belligerent parties came before the civic assembly 

at Athens. 

The envoys of Corcyra spoke with great 

openness. Their principles, they said, would Corcyrseans. 

have made them prefer to abstain from 

all combinations with other states, nor had anything short 

of necessity brought them before the civic assembly of 

the Athenians. But as matters lay at the present 

moment, no situation could be conceived more favorable 

to Athens. For the latter it would doubtless be best if 

no navy except the Attic existed ; at the present moment 

the second naval power of Hellas was ready voluntarily to 

join Athens, to whom thus the greatest extension of her 


10 History of Greece. l Bo01 

power offered itself without any danger whatsoever, 
at the present time an increase of her power mus 
doubly welcome to Athens, since all the world knew 
well that the outbreak of the general war had to all 
tents and purposes taken place. And if the right 
states were to be considered, no question could arise a 
their having been violated by Athens, in case she sh< 
support the Corcyrseans. For their filial relations to 
mother-city had long ago been dissolved by sanguu 
feuds ; and even the most sacred right was forfeited b 
abuse. Corcyra was completely the mistress of her 
actions, and might ally herself with whomsoever she 

While thus the Corcyrseans, in a< 
Speech of the ^ance ^^ their own policy, sincerely u: 

Corinthians. r J ' J 

the motive of advantage, the Corinth 
were proportionately desirous of insisting upon the ] 
ciple of colonial rights. They declared that the loy 
of their other colonies proved, that the blame of the 
ti tate of relations existing from the very first bet\ 
Corcyra and Corinth could not attach to the latter 
The turbulent spirit of the Corcyrseans was known tc 
the world ; and the proposals of a settlement advance* 
them at the last hour could not possibly have 1 
accepted, as in the meantime the Corcyrseans would 1 
retained possession of all the advantages. These 
siderations could exercise but little effect upon Ath 
nor could the claims upon her gratitude put forwarc 
Corinth create any impression. Of greater import! 
was the appeal made by the latter to the existing tres 
Corinth, as a member of the Peloponnesian confedei 
asserted herself to be implicitly connected by federal : 
tions with Athens ; and although these relations i 
doubtless at the present moment in a condition of exti 
difficulty and distrust, yet it was still possible to avoid 
worst, and to prevent endless suffering. Moreover, lei 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 11 

Athenians remember that in the end no course but that 
of justice ever proves to be the expedient one. 

Thus the two naval powers of the second 
class sought the favor of that of the first ; Alliance be- 

„ ,, i ' n it ,1 twecn Athens 

one oi the two asking tor an alliance, the a nd Corcyra. 
other for nothing beyond neutrality. If the 
policy of Athens was to be dictated only by her interests, 
her choice could not be doubtful for a moment. The fact 
that, notwithstanding, the Athenians wavered in their 
decision, and that the first meeting of the popular assem- 
bly was even favorable to the Corinthians, shows how 
much the Athenians shrank from taking the decisive step 
which would at once put an end to peace. Doubtless 
they would have preferred to allow the two states to fight 
out their dispute themselves, had it been possible to 
depend upon the exhaustion of the forces and pecuniary 
resources of both sides in the struggle. But her alliances 
and armaments seemed at the moment to place Corinth 
in a more promising position ; and the Athenians could 
not tolerate the idea of a Peloponnesian naval power, by 
any possibility, forming itself through the annihilation of 
the independence of Corcyra — a power which might be 
able to oppose the Athenians on equal terms, and in the 
first instance to prevent any extension of the latter to the 
West. This consideration decided the citizens; and in the 
second assembly they resolved — not indeed formally to 
admit the Corcyrseans (as the latter had proposed) into 
the Attic alliance, and to make common cause with them 
against Corinth — but to conclude an alliance of mutual 
defence with them, by which either state undertook to 
unite its forces with those of the other in case of any 
attack upon the latter, or upon its allies. Thus the 
Athenians thought to have taken up the most advantage- 
ous position in the war which had broken out, without 
rendering themselves guilty of a violation of the peace. 
For the caution which characterized their operations in 

12 History of Greece. [Book ] 

this respect is further proved by the circumstance, th 
after the departure of the envoys, not more than ten shi 
were sent into the Ionian seas ; nor was it probably uni 
teutional that Lacedsemonius, the son of Cimon (vol. ii. 
410), was placed in command of this squadron, since fro 
him it might be expected that he would be least inclin 
to premature measures against the Peloponnesians.* 

The alliance, however, had been cone] 
Battle of Sybota. (] e d, by which the relations between t 

01. lxxxvi. 4. 

(b. c. 432). Greek states had undergone an essenti 

change; and the Corinthians now arm 
with additional energy in order to be a match for the i 
creased danger. At last they had assembled a consideral: 
fleet, of one hundred and fifty triremes, which sailed for 
in the spring of b. c. 432 (01. lxxxvi. 4), full of confiden 
in its success, in order to seek out the enemy in his o\ 
waters. This time they sailed, without meeting with ai 
resistance, past the inlet of the Ambracian Gulf, aloi 
the coast of Epirus ; and in front of the entrance of tl 
sound of Corcyra, near the promontory of Chimeriui 
where the country population sent them an addition 
body of men and other aid, they pitched a camp, with 
the protection of which lay the ships. The Corcyrsea 
halted with forty triremes off the rocky island nam< 
Sybota, situate opposite the southern extremity of tl 
island of Corcyra, in front of the coast of the mainlan 
In this sound the battle was fought — the greatest batt 
which had up to this time taken place between Gre( 
ships. The Corinthians had placed the smaller conti 
gents of their allies in the centre; the Megareans ar 
Ambraciotes on the right wing; themselves, with the 
ninety practised triremes, composing the left, where th< 
were confronted by the Corcyrseans, and, in addition, t 
the Attic vessels, which had received strict orders not 

* See Note I. Appendix. 

Chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 13 

quit an attitude of simple observation, and only to 
interfere vigorously in case of its becoming necessary to 
preserve the island itself from immediate danger. With 
this intention they remained alongside of the Corcyrseans, 
as lookers-on in a conflict which offered to them an unex- 
pected sight. For the Western Greeks still practised the 
ancient inartistic style of naval combat, and were ignorant 
of the rapid movements of the triremes, which made it 
possible to disarm the enemy's vessels without bloodshed, 
and to cripple them effectually. Ship pressed hard upon 
ship ; standing on the opposite decks, the hoplites archers, 
and javelin men fought against one another as in a battle 
by land, and in this chaotic confusion the ships were 
unable to extricate themselves from one another. At last 
the right wing of the Corinthians was forced to give way 
in a body, and was hereupon incautiously pursued by the 
Corcyrseans as far as Chimerium ; so that the victorious 
ships, whose crews were solely intent upon plundering the 
camp, moved entirely away from the field of battle. Here 
their services were doubly wanted, since the left wing of 
the Corinthians had meanwhile achieved the most decisive 
success, and was pursuing it with such energy as in the 
end to make it impossible for the Attic vessels, to remain 
any longer mere impartial spectators. They engaged 
with the Corinthians, and thus retreated with the Corcy- 
ramns before the superior force of the enemy, to the coast 
of the island. The Corinthians, who believed themselves 
completely victorious, cruised about the sound, endeavoring 
in the blindness of their fury to kill as many of the 
enemy's sailors as possible and in the melee attacking 
their own vessels also ; and then sailed back to the shore 
of the mainland, whither the land-army of the Epirotes 
had marched up, who were already lying in wait for the 
overthrow of haughty Corcyra. Hereupon, after securing 
their dead and fragments of ships, the Corinthians made 
a fresh onset, being determined, if possible, to end the 

14 History of Greece. [ BoOK r 

matter before the close of the day. For the second tim 
both fleets, with all their vessels remaining fit for battl 
were sailing full upon one another ; and the battle-ci 
was raised on either side — when suddenly the Corinthiai 
retreated and gave up the battle. The reason was th; 
they in this moment beheld a squadron arriving, in whic 
they recognized Attic triremes. For, when the Atheniai 
had received information that the Corinthians had set sai 
the former had sent twenty ships in the wake of the fir 
ten, the insufficiency of which had been already made 
matter of reproach against Pericles. The mere sight c 
these twenty vessels sufficed utterly to discourage tl 
Corinthians. Thus the fleet of the Corcyroeans was save 
in the extremity of danger ; and on the ensuing mornir 
they advanced, accompanied by the whole body of tl 
thirty Attic triremes, upon Sybota, in order to offi 
another battle. The Corinthians, however, avoided ar 
further conflict ; and, as the Athenians decisively refuse 
to make any attack upon them, departed home unm 
lested. Accordingly, this sanguinary battle in itse" 
remained undecided ; and either party deemed itself jusl 
fied in erecting trophies of victory : and yet the cons 
quences of the battle were of the very greatest impo 
tance. For in the sound of Corey ra the first conflict i 
arms had taken place between Attic and Peloponnesia 
ships ; the peace was now virtually broken, and the ra< 
of passions unchained. The Corinthians could hencefort 
never forgive the Athenians for having torn from the 
hands their hard-won victory ; and as against a declare 
enemy, the Athenians for their part also were hencefort 
obliged to act with greater resolution, and with less regar 
or consideration for the interests of others. 

Further complications hereupon ensue 
Revolt of Poti- on the opposite side of the mainland o 

clrea. 01. lxxxvii. --,,.„« *, . , 

1. (b.c. 432). Hellas, in lnrace; where, opposite th 
coast of Macedonia and Thessaly, the Ion 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 15 

peninsula of Pallene projects into the sea. On the small 
isthmus which connects Pallene with the mainland of 
Thrace lay Potidsea, washed by two seas, like her mother- 
city, Corinth ; — a community of courageous men, who 
had, immediately after the battle of Salamis, revolted 
against the Persians, warded off the attack of Artabazus, 
with the help of the sea protecting their walls, and subse- 
quently fought by the side of the Corinthians at Platsese. 
Potidsea had afterwards entered the Attic alliance, but 
without dissolving her connection with Corinth ; for she 
annually received thence a superior officer (iKLdrj/icoupyos), 
who was placed in an honorary position at the head of the 
community. After the day of Sybota, an ambiguous 
position of this kind could no longer be tolerated ; the 
less so, inasmuch as the Macedonian king, Perdiccas, was 
hostile to the Athenians, and incited the Corinthians to 
act in opposition to Attic interests. At the most sensitive 
point of the dominions of the Attic power, Potidsea 
threatened to become a centre of hostile operations. 
Hence it was no time for hesitation. The fleet, whose 
duty it was to secure the coasts of the Thracian Sea 
against Perdiccas, was immediately commissioned to call 
upon the citizens of Potidsea to level their walls, to send 
hostages, and to dismiss the Corinthian officers. The ter- 
rified men of Potidsea sent envoys at the same time to 
Athens and to the Peloponnesus : in the former they 
pleaded in vain, in the latter a certain prospect of support 
was held out to them. The consequence was an open 
revolt, which was joined by the many small seaports of 
the Chalcidice (vol. i. p. 456), and by the Bottiseans on 
the Thermsean Bay (now the Bay of Thessalonica). Per- 
diccas caused the Chalcidians to relinquish their ports, 
which could not be singly maintained against Athens, and 
to found a common city further inland, near Olynthus, a 
mile and a half above Potidsea. Corinth developed the 
most eager activity ; for, in forty days after the revolt of 

16 History of Greece. [ BoOK x > 

Potidsea, Aristeus, the son of Adimantus, arrived there, i 
order to defend the city, to which personal relations special! 
attached him. A multitude of volunteers had joined hin 
so that he stood at the head of an army of 2,000. 

Meanwhile, neither was there any delay on the part o: 
the Athenians. On receiving the news of the revolt the; 
had sent a further detachment of forty ships with 2,00< 
heavy-armed troops into the Thracian waters. The squad 
rons waited in Macedonia. But the forces were insufficien 
to act in a double scene of operations. When, therefore 
the arrival of Aristeus became known, the Athenians ha< 
no choice but to come to an understanding with Perdiccas 
and to evacuate Macedonia, so as to have their hands fre 
against Potidsea. The season of the year made hast< 
necessary ; and, after they had made a futile attempt t< 
surprise Strepsa, an important central point of the mail 
routes between Macedon and Thrace, the troops marchec 
along the coast, parallel with the advance of the fleet 
upon Potidsea. 

Perdiccas had immediately broken the truce wherebj 
he had rid the country of the Athenians. And, in ordei 
to be able to devote himself entirely to the Chalcidiai 
war, to which he attached a critical significance for th< 
development of affairs in Thrace, he had established hi* 
confidential friend Iolaus as Regent in Macedonia, anc 
was himself in command of the cavalry of the revoltec 
towns. The infantry was commanded by Aristeus. Thu* 
the troops defending Potidsea stood in front of the town 
on the peninsula, awaiting the Athenians, and intending 
to hinder them from passing through the narrow inlel 
into the peninsula of Pallene. The Athenians wen 
placed between two hostile forces. For in their rear la} 
Olynthus, a second strong position, which was connected 
by a system of signals with Potidsea. Yet, nevertheless, 
they ventured on an attack ; for the danger was hourly 
on the increase. The contest was an unequal one. The 

Ciiap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 17 

Corinthians fought with distinguished bravery : they were 
victorious in their part of the battle, and drove their 
adversaries close under the walls of Olynthus. But on 
the other wing the Athenians gained a complete victory ; 
the Potidseans and Peloponnesians opposed to them took 
refuge under the walls of Potidsea ; and thus it came to 
pass, that, when Aristeus returned from the pursuit, he 
found himself entirely cut off from either city. He 
rapidly resolved to force his way through to Potidaea, and 
actually succeeded, by a heroical effort, in passing along 
the narrow mole of the sea, through the surge of the 
waves and the missiles of the enemy, and thus barely con- 
triving at last to reach the gates of the city. The conflict 
had been so rapidly decided that the Olynthians had 
found no opportunity of taking part in it. Nevertheless, 
the Athenians had suffered a loss of 150 men in this 
sharp fight, among them their general, Callias ; but with- 
out delay they threw up a wall for the purpose of shutting 
off Potidaia against the isthmus and Olynthus. And when 
new aid arrived under Phormio, they built a second cross- 
wall, in the direction of Pallene ; so that now, as the fleet 
in two divisions guarded both the sides of the sea, the 
blockade was complete. There was no help to be hoped 
for, except from without. Accordingly Aristeus slipped 
out through the guard-ship, in order, by cruising about, 
to inflict damage upon the Athenians, and to rouse the 
Peloponnesians by a succession of messages ; while 
Phormio employed the vessels which he could spare from 
the blockade for the punishment of the revolted towns.* 

Thus the second sanguinary war had 
broken out, in which Peloponnesians and su ^ r of k Cori^th] 
Athenians stood in arms against one another. 
Yet in Greece the pretence of peace was still kept up ; 
and it was thought that the Attico-Corinthian feud might 

* Strepsa, according to the emendations of Pfluggers in Cobe<> iYb«. 
Led. p. 382. Cf. Classen's note ad loc. 

18 History of Greece. [Book 

be regarded as a quarrel confined to the two states, c 
temporaneously with which the existing treaties mi^ 
continue ; so that now the Corinthians had no more imp 
tant task than that of putting an end to this sham pea 
In two seas they had heroically fought for their colon 
rights ; and each time they had seen the results obtain 
by them lost again, because the separate contingents 
the allies. had not held out firmly. Hence they need 
a stronger support against the ever prompt power 
Athens. It was necessary to arouse the whole Pelopc 
nesian confederation out of its listless repose and to su 
mon it to arms ; it was necessary that the cause of Corii] 
should become the cause of the confederacy ; for nothi 
but a general war could save Corinth. 

Accordingly, the winter was employed 
Confederate working upon Sparta, where great exci 

meeting at . , . 

Sparta. ment already prevailed in consequence i 

recent events ; and the first thing that Spar 
did, the first measure whereby she roused herself out < 
her sleepy policy, and asserted herself as an arbitress 
the general affairs of Hellas, — and at the same time h 
first act of hostility against Athens, — was a public procl 
mation, wherein she required all those who had accus 
tions to make against Athens to bring forward their coi 
plaints ; as to which a resolution should be formed, ai 
proposed to the allies for their acceptance. The procee 
ings before the civic body of Sparta occurred in Novel 
ber or December, immediately after the blockade < 

The principal complainants were tl 
Complaints of iEginetans and the Megareans. The fc 

iEgina and Me- . , ,, . , 

gara . mer m secret messages, accused the Ath 

nians of withholding from them the indepe 
dence promised to them in the treaties ; while the latt 
charged them with having decreed an embargo, excludir 
them from all the ports and markets of the Attic domi; 

Ciiap. LJ The War to the Death of Pericles. 19 

ion, and with having thereby completely destroyed their 
national prosperity. This measure was probably decreed 
by the Athenians in the summer of b. c. 432, immediately 
after the battle of Sybota, and was owing to the personal 
influence of Pericles, who thought it appropriate to inflict 
humiliation and punishment upon the little state of 
Megara, after it had openly espoused the side of Corinth, 
notwithstanding its vicinity to, and dependence upon, 
Athens. Those who had fought against Athens, without 
having been provoked by her, were not to be allowed to 
appear day after day, and make money, on the Attic mar- 
ket ; while it was probably hoped, at the same time, that 
by these means might be brought about the fall of that 
party which now guided the policy of Megara, and which 
was in the highest degree an obstacle in the way of Attic 
interests. Lastly, it also seemed to be a duty enjoined by 
common caution, to anticipate all hostile intrigues and 
traitorous combinations there, while it was yet time. 
In neither case could there be any question as to a defi- 
nite violation of right ; for the expressions occurring in 
the documents of earlier treaties, as to the independence 
of the Hellenic states and mutual freedom of intercourse, 
were of far too general a nature to make it possible to 
prove against the Athenians a violation of their treaty- 

Hence the Corinthians (who were every- 
where stirring up the fire, and who, on the Speech of the 

, i ii l • liii Corinthian dep- 

day when the complaints were heard, had u ties. 
reserved the concluding speech to them- 
selves), instead of attaching much value to the single 
points, were only anxious to represent the general situa- 
tion of Hellas in such a light as would show that honor 
and duty demanded from Sparta a resolute movement in 
advance. Not without irony they eulogized the good sim» 

* Ullrich d. Megar. Pseph.; Vischer, Ben. d. alt. Kom. p 18. Sauppe, 
G*t. Nachrichten 1867, p. 180. 

20 History of Greece. [ b °ok ] 

pie character and the straightforward honesty of t 
Spartans, who quietly went their way, and had no noti 
of what was taking place in the world without. And y 
to every one who would consent to use his eyes, it w 
evident that Athens was mightily extending her pow 
and from day to day assuming a more menacing attitu 
against the Peloponnesus. Hence it would be ridiculo 
to waste time in demonstrating on particular heai 
whether the Athenians were inflicting damage on t 
Peloponnesians or not. Surely there was no longer a: 
doubt as to the character of the Athenians. They wc 
always intent upon some new design ; and, when th 
came to execute it, never failed to exceed the limits i 
their original plan. While it was impossible to move t 
Spartans out of their city, the Athenians actually p; 
ferred a foreign soil to their own. With them there w 
no real difference between planning and carrying out 
scheme, between coveting and securing a possession ; t 
quiet of inaction they hated worse than any exertion 
trouble, and were continually appropriating new resoun 
for war and victory ; while in Sparta all things h 
become antiquated. The nature of the Athenians was 
be incapable either of remaining quiet themselves or 
leaving others in peace ; and if matters continued to pi 
ceed in this way, all Hellas would beyond a doubt i\ 
under their dominion. Meanwhile the Spartans, the p] 
per guardians of the liberty of Hellas, remained in a loi 
calm ; but, as a matter of fact, this calm was nothing h 
ter than stolidity and laziness. " If you Spartans," th 
they concluded, " adhere to your policy of hesitation, y 
dissolve the confederation whose members you fail to p] 
tect, and force us to search for other combinations." 

The speech of the Corinthians amount 

Speech of the to a frank vote of censure on Sparti 

voy S , leadership of the confederation, in t 

presence of its members. None would ha 

chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles, 21 

dared to express their opinion so openly, except those 
whom the confederation could not afford to spare, and 
whose intellectual superiority in commanding a view of 
the state affairs it was impossible to gainsay. Moreover, 
they had long possessed a body of firm adherents among 
the officials. Hence no considerable influence could be 
exercised on the decision by the circumstance, that envoys 
from Athens, who happened to be present, requested to be 
allowed to speak before the citizens : they were men who 
were thoroughly initiated into the principles of the policy 
of Pericles, and who now thought it their duty to make 
an open, and at the same time a serious, declaration. 
" Power falling into the hands of the unworthy," they 
said, "may justly provoke indignation and envy; but 
we have honestly acquired our position by our courage in 
the van during the Persian wars, and the hegemony at sea 
we assumed, because Sparta voluntarily retired. Both 
our honor and our safety demand the maintenance of that 
hegemony. At the same time it is impossible thus to 
maintain it, without employing means which are not 
always agreeable to the minor states. But who can call 
upon us, in case the single states happen to be annoyed, 
to dismiss them in pure good-nature from a combination, 
for the purpose of leading which we have made our city 
such as it is ? To do this would be to renounce our own- 
selves. Under the Persians the towns made no complaint 
when they were given up to unlimited arbitrary force: 
with the Athenians they are displeased, because they raise 
claims of equality with them. Our moderation they 
refuse to recognize, and only complain of the loss of a 
free control over their own affairs, which is unavoidable 
in the case of the hegemony ; and precisely the same lot 
would be yours, if you had retained the supremacy at sea. 
All this we tell you, not in order to give an account of 
ourselves in this place, for you are not our judges ; but 
only in order to instruct the ignorant, and to warn you, 

22 History of Greece. [ BooK l 

lest by breaking the treaties you force us to enter upon 
struggle with you for our very existence." 

Hereupon all strangers withdrew, ai 
Sparta resolves t j c iti ze ns remained with their officia 

upon war. 01. 

lxxxvii. l (b. c. If the proposed resolution were now neg 
'' tived, the whole matter would be at an en 

and would not be brought in any way before the confede 
ates. But men's minds were excited to such a degn 
and the Ephors were so greatly interested on behalf < 
Corinth, that a peace-party proper was utterly unable 
assert itself. Even those who were for peace mere 
uttered a warning against premature resolves, demand' 
preliminary negotiations and pointed )ut the inadequa* 
of military preparations. Their spokesman was the o 
king, Archidamus (vol. ii. p. 406). As the xenos < 
Pericles, it behooved him to be cautious, but being cand 
by nature, and untouched by the prevailing tendency, r 
notwithstanding, defended the previous policy of Spart 
and urgently called upon the citizens to take heed befo 
they prematurely began a war the end of which it w 
utterly impossible to foresee. The solemn warnings of tl 
king did not wholly miss their effect. But it was th< 
that the Ephor Sthenelaidas hastily rose, in a passiona 
speech declared every delay of this just war to be nothii 
better than an unwarranted tardiness ; and then resort 
to the unusual proceeding of dividing the citizens in 
two bodies for the purpose of taking the vote (which w 
ordinarily taken by acclamation), intending thus to for 
them to a more determined demonstration. By this devi 
many of the cooler heads were frightened into abstainii 
from resistance, and a considerable majority declared fort 
opinion, that the treaties had been broken by the Athenians 

* For the speech of the Corinthians in the civic assembly at Spar 
see Thuc. i. 68-71. Speech of the Athenians accidentally present : 
73-78. Archidamus : ib. 80-85. The voting : ib. 87. Delphi : ib. 1 
Corinth and the confederates : ib. 120-124. Decree of war; ib. 125. 

Chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 23 

Thus was passed in Sparta the resolu- 
tion which was to decide the fate of Greece, Sp a r u. P ° licy ° £ 
under the influence of an impassioned 
party and of a momentary excitement. What Sparta 
had done since the second Persian war amounted to 
nothing. She had gained neither possessions nor allies ; 
had opened up no new resources; had effected no 
improvements in her political institutions: she had simply 
gone back ; for she had suffered losses by earthquakes, 
revolts, and wars, and yet a greater loss of national 
authority, by the policy which she had pursued for several 
generations. If we recall such events as the expedition 
of Anchimolius (vol. i. p. 399), as the two campaigns 
of Cleomenes, as the disgrace of Pausanias, the loss of 
the hegemony, the third Messenian war, the fruitless 
battle of Tanagra, the disgraceful return of Plistoanar, 
the refusal of support to the Thasians, JEginetans, and 
Samians, we can easily understand how the review of 
such a past necessarily summoned up a passionate indigna- 
tion in the hearts of those who cared for the honor of the 
state. Now, all was suddenly to be made good ; now, it 
was asserted that Sparta had never resigned her privileges, 
and had in principle renounced nothing. As in the case 
of the transfer of the maritime hegemony to Athens, so 
in the subsequent negotiations Sparta had never done 
more than concede a preliminary recognition of existing 
circumstances. Now, according to more ancient states' 
law, Sparta was of a sudden again to be the sole great 
power in Hellas, and the supreme court of appeal in all 
Greek affairs. As Sparta had long forgotten how to 
pursue a firm and reasonable polic}^, she now showed 
herself devoid of all power for maintaining a consistent 
attitude ; and, urged forward by Corinth, precipitately 
changed from a timid and calculating state, anxiously 
careful to keep up the semblance of legality, into one 
eager and ardent for war, which would keep no measure^ 

24 History of Greece. [Book 

listen to no argument, and respect no legal obligati 
for assuredly it was an unwarrantable instance of pre< 
tation, that an inquiry into the questions of law, sucr 
the treaties demanded, was never so much as thought 
In the very form in which the Ephors put the quest 
"Whether Athens was inflicting damage upon the Pelo] 
nesians and had broken the treaties ?" there lay an in 
tional obscurity. For while certainly the first part of 
question could be negatived by none who remembered I 
dsea, Epidamnus, Corey ra, and Megara, the second cc 
not be proved. For no one could by an appeal to 
treaties deny to Athens the right of punishing revo 
towns in her confederation : and equally unopposed to 
treaty was the alliance with Corcyra ; inasmuch as 1 
island was not a state which had revolted from the P 
ponnesian confederation. 

While, then, the violations of eng: 

Real motives . ■, , A .-, 

actuating the ments imputed to Athens were in no ' 
war -party at capable of proof: the treaty-obligations 
Sparta were manifestly being broken 
the latter, when she allowed herself to accuse an al 
state of this very wrong ; and asserted this to be a 1 
without having previously attempted a discussion of 
points at issue with the accused. But a satisfactory 
cussion was not what was desired ; the war-party pus 
forward the rest, and eagerly urged measures which m 
any conciliatory change of policy impossible. And, 
we inquire into the causes which at this partici 
moment called forth so unprecedented a zeal for \ 
there is no doubt that the main cause lay in the combi 
tion between Athens and Corcyra ; for this was an e\ 
which left no peace to those who hated Athens, ; 
regarded Sparta as the only legitimate head of Hel 
and who looked upon the entire development of the A 
power as nothing better than a disorderly interruption 
Greek history. If Athens and Corcyra annihilated 

Chap, i.j The War to the Death of Pericles. 25 

naval power of Corinth, no protection was left for the 
Peloponnesian coasts, and no prospect of ever humiliating 
the arrogance of Athens. At the same time Corcyra was 
the threshold of the Sicilian sea ; and, in proportion as 
the influence of Athens extended in this direction, the 
connection with the Dorian colonies on the other side of 
the sea was endangered, and the Peloponnesus surrounded 
on all sides by the growing power of Athens. These 
fears formed the real motive of the war-party, which had 
virtually gained the day, when the Spartan citizens held 
themselves bound by its resolution, and proceeded to sum- 
mon the members of the confederation at an early date ; 
in order, at a general diet, to come to a collective resolu- 
tion on the subject of the war. 

Meanwhile the Corinthian envoys jour- 

_ i Tho Pclopon- 

neyed from town to town, to dispose the nesian confoder- 
civic communities in favor of their wishes ; at,on rcsolvcs 

upon war. 

and the speech which they held in the 
assembly of the deputies shows with sufficient clearness, 
that they had still to meet a great disinclination to war, 
especially on the part of the inland towns, which were 
unable to understand why they should take the field on 
behalf of the colonies beyond the sea. Accordingly the 
Corinthians endeavored to prove to them, that the inter- 
ests of the inland states, as well as their own, were 
endangered by the growth of the Athenian power ; inas- 
much as the prosperity of the mountain-districts depended 
on the commerce between the high-lying country and the 
coast, which advantageous commerce would be disturbed 
if the Athenians obtained the dominion in the Peloponne- 
sian sea. Such was the language held by the Corinthians 
in the interest of their city, as the first mercantile and 
export town in the peninsula. In direct contradiction to 
the policy of Pericles, they described Athens as insatiable 
in conquest: hence, they declared, there could be no juster 
or more necessary war than one undertaken to liberate 

26 History of Greece. t BoOK 

one part of Hellas out of servitude, and to preserve 
other from falling into it. At the same time they enc 
vored to remove all anxiety as to a successful terminat 
of the war, by pointing to the insecure foundations of 
Attic power, which was based on money, and accordin 
by money could also be overthrow:i. Now, money co 
be obtained by a loan on the temple treasures of Del 
and Olympia ; while by an offer of higher pay the sai] 
of the Athenians might be tempted to desert their mastc 
and the downfall of the Attic power would be finally c 
summated by the secession of its allies. Whereas 
power of the Peloponnesians rested, not on mercenar 
but on the free-will of native warriors : hence, noth 
was needed but readiness to make the necessary sacrifn 
and concord in action, in order to ensure the most glori< 
of victories in this unavoidable contest. Meanwhile 
Spartans had further obtained from the Delphic orach 
decided declaration in favor of the Peloponnesian cai 
— an acquisition which, in regard to public opinion, ^ 
not without its importance; and thus, by means of a cc 
bination of Sparta and Corinth at the Peloponnesian d 
a majority of votes was obtained for war. This vote "v 
immediately followed by a resolution to commence a g 
eral armament; and as soon as the deputies returr 
home, all Peloponnesus was astir at once. The tow 
large and small, became military stations ; the shephe: 
and peasants were called in and drilled. The Corinthh 
did their utmost to hasten the general armament ; 
their fears as to Potidsea were rising from day to day. 

After the Spartan motion, to the eff 
Negotiations that all the forces should be held in rea 

between Sparta i-ii -, i n i ^ 

and Athens. ness, had been adopted as a iecieral reso 

tion, Sparta as the head of the confede 

tion opened the negotiations with Athens. That th< 

were not conducted with any real desire for peace 

Chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 27 

evident, if from nothing else, from the fact of their not 
having been begun till the war had been resolved upon ; 
hence the only object of the negotiations was to give rise 
to specious occasions for the commencement of hostilities. 
It was intended to provoke Athens, who quietly adhered 
to her position, to move out of it. A quarrel was sought, 
though there was no intention of causing an immediate 
outbreak of war; for Sparta wished to gain time for her 
preparations. Accordingly, envoys were sent backwards 
and forwards ; demands and complaints were urged, which 
partly had no connection either with one another or with 
the previous charges ; one element only being common to 
all, viz., that Sparta again urged her own claims to the 
position of a federal capital against Athens, claims which 
were not even due to her from the Peloponnesian states, 
and which had at all events long become obsolete and 
been utterly abolished by later treaties. 

Thus the Spartans first sent ambassadors, 
who raised against Athens the charge of tilcTexpuis^onof 
having violated the sacred laws, and of the Aicmiooni- 

, . . nil mi dae from Athens. 

being a city polluted by guilt, because the 
community suffered the house of the Alcmseonidse to 
remain amongst it after doing a deed of impiety against 
citizens who were suppliants to the gods (vol. i. p. 337). 
For when Athens was in the hands of King Cleomenes, 
the latter had expelled the Alcmaeonidse (vol. i. p. 412). 
This fact was held to support the new demand for their 
expulsion, and it was pretended that the duty was incum- 
bent upon Sparta of providing for the preservation of 
sacred law in the whole of Hellas. In truth, however, 
this religious zeal sat very ungraciously upon the Spar- 
tans ; inasmuch as they had themselves committed far 
worse misdeeds againsts the suppliants of Posidon (vol. il 
p. 406) ; while the guilt of blood resting upon the 
Alcmseonidse had long been expiated. A personal object 
underlay Sparta's arrogant demand — an object which it 

28 History of Greece. t B o<> K 

was not hard to divine. The man on whom the powei 
Athens in the main depended was an Alcmseonide by 
mother's side ; and the most ardent admirers of Peri 
could furnish no more brilliant testimonial to his gr 
ness than that now supplied by the Spartans, when t 
directed their first demands against him, and thus m 
it manifest that they were not afraid of Athens, if I 
cles were removed from the helm of state. At the si 
time an insidious secondary design was contained in 
demand : viz. that of exciting to action the adversaria 
the great statesman, and of giving them an opportu 
for attacking him as the disturber of peace. 

After this demand had been sufficie: 
The Spartan answere( ] by the counter-demand, that Sp; 

ultimatum. J * 

should first expiate the deeds of gu 
impiety committed in her own land, new messengers 
state arrived, who demanded that the blockade of Poti 
should be raised, iEgina freed, and liberty of commer 
intercourse restored to the Megareans. The circumsto 
that the last of these points was so strongly insisted u] 
that the whole question of war was made to depend o) 
is again to be attributed to no other motive than tha 
causing the overthrow of Pericles. For the revoca 
of the " Megarean decree of the people " would have 1 
a defeat inflicted upon his policy ; and he was to be pk 
in an invidious light, as having on account of so unim 
tant a matter kindled the flame of civil war througl 
all Hellas. These demands also were simply refused ; 
measures against Megara being justified by the violat 
which Athenian territory had suffered from that st 
Finally, an embassy arrived which announced itsel 
the last ; three men of high dignity presented Spai 
ultimatum. After a conciliatory exordium, wherei 
genuine love of peace was spoken of, it was demandec 
so many words that Athens should restore to her a 
their independence. It was this demand which the S 

Chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 29 

tans hoped would be most popular among the Hellenes — ■ 
a demand which necessarily appeared as the most unsel- 
fish and high-minded ; and for these reasons they chose it 
as their war-cry in this critical hour. 

Thus, then, the decision was now unavoid- 
ably approaching ; the citizens were assem- Debates in the 
bled ; in a full meeting the conflicting views sembiy. 
were once more to find expression, in order 
that the Athenians might clearly realize the situation of 
affairs. Assuredly it was known at Athens what the 
blessings of peace were worth ; and it was felt that in the 
first instance nothing could accrue but loss : moreover, all 
those who were against Pericles were for peace; for his 
power could not but be increased when times of trouble 
and danger more than ever necessitated the guidance of 
public affairs by the hands of one man. Accordingly, 
the opinions of the citizens were divided, and even the 
peace-party found speakers for its views, who at least 
declared themselves for sacrificing the Megarean decree, 
in order to avoid the horrors of civil war, and for attempt- 
ing once more to effect an amicable understanding on this 
basis. Last of all Pericles addressed the citizens : * 

" He was well able," he said, " to appreci- 
ate the serious nature of the situation ; nor Peri ^ ech 
was it fitting lightly to resolve upon a war, 
the chances of which lay beyond the reach of human 
calculation. But, on the other hand, it ought not to 
be imagined that this was a question of choice between 
one or the other decree. Suppose us," he said, " to have 
given way in one point : another demand will be made — 
one equally unjust, but at the same time more stringent; 
and we shall then have renounced our rights. And why 
are we to submit? From fear, or weakness? For what 
purpose do we possess our treasure, our navy, our walls ? 

* From Thuc. i. 139 one might be inclined to assume that Pericles only 
assembled the community for a final discussion. 

30 History of Greece. L^ook 3 

The adversary opposed to the Peloponncsians is assurec 
no contemptible foe; and they have never been fit J 
carrying on lengthy wars beyond their seas. Their wi 
taxes, levied for each particular campaign, cannot he 
out for long ; the whole constitution of their confederati 
is thoroughly defective, and ill-adapted for vigorous actk 
Of its many members, each single one thinks that it is r 
he more than any other, upon whom everything depend 
and thus the whole machine halts ; but all success in w 
is conditioned by a rapid use of the moment. The sea 
ours, a fact of vast significance in Hellas; and thou 
the Corinthians may pretend to their allies that it will 
an easy matter for them to withstand us on the sea, ' 
need not be greatly afraid -of such a rivalry on the pa 
of Peloponnesians, who are for the most part tillers 
the land and keepers of cattle ; for a naval power cane 
be created as a mere matter of secondary interest. Yo 
laud they are able to desolate ; but you stand in no ne 
of it ; nay, it is only an obstacle in the way of your perfe 
security : and if you would follow my counsel, you wou 
yourselves devastate your fields, in order to show the 
that you will not sacrifice your liberty for the sake < 
fields and farms. Thus, then, your weapon, the navy, 
much more dangerous to them than their land-army is 
you. For that which is of the greatest importance 
them — their territorial possessious — is at the mercy i 
your attacks, while, of our possessions, only those whi 
are of no importance to us are within their reach. B 
if your situation is so favorable, what advantage can the 
be in timidly deferring a war which is inevitable ? F 
the question is, whether we are ready of our own acco 
to submit, or rather for the preservation of our indeper 
ence courageously to confront the dangers of war ? The: 
fore, let us once more declare, that we are ready on j 
points at issue to submit to the decision of an arbitrati 
according to the clear meaning of the treaties. We w 

chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 31 

not do any man's bidding ; but, as is usual between 
states of equal rights, we bring forward one demand to 
meet the other. If the Lacedaemonians will do away with 
the closiDg of their frontiers and ports, we also are ready 
to admit the Megareans amongst us. We further consent 
to restore their independence to all those among our allies 
who were independent at the time of the Thirty Years' 
Peace ; but, in that case, neither shall any state in Pelopon- 
nesus be forced to accommodate itself to the principles in 
vogue at Sparta. Let this be our answer. We have no 
wish to begin war, but whosoever attacks us, him we mean 
to repel ; for our guiding principle ought to be no other 
than this : that the power of that state which our fathers 
made great we will hand down undiminished to our pos- 

No one was able to urge a word against 
the wisdom and the convincing power of The A *he- 

. . , . , , nian answer to 

this speech. An answer was resolved upon, Sparta, 
agreeing in every point with that proposed 
by Pericles : it was a final answer ; and, in conformity 
with the wish of Pericles, all further negotiations by 
ambassadors between Sparta and Athens were broken off. 
Private intercourse between the citizens of the towns con- 
tinued for a time, but only under anxious precautions. 
The treaties were held to be at an end ; there was no 
longer any federal law in Hellas. 

It is true that this advantage had accrued 
to the Spartans from the frequent inter- ^mo^wS 
change of messages to and fro ; that they 
had been able at their leisure to complete their arma- 
ments ; and thus the question might arise, why the Athe- 
nians, who had been long prepared for war, conceded this 
advantage to their adversary ; why they did not at an 
earlier date insist upon decisive declarations, and, if war 
was actually unavoidable, hurry on its commencement ? 

32 History of Greece. [Book 

Pericles attached the greatest weight to the fact, that 1 
right was manifestly on the side of the Athenians. 1 
Hellas was to bear witness, that they, who were alwi 
decried as the innovators and originators of troub] 
firmly clung to the treaties to the last ; they wished to 
the assailed, and not the assailants, although by this tr 
might lose advantages in the war. Nor was this a 
pedantic perversity on their part, but the most effecti 
and sagacious policy, as the event proved. For, if 1 
imposing beginning of the attempt made by Sparta 
accomplish at the present moment all that she h 
hitherto omitted to accomplish : — to create a sequel to 1 
most glorious period of her earlier history, and, as she h 
then overthrown the Tyrants, so now to overthrow 1 
tyrannical state whose despotic power was now keepi 
down so many Hellenic states : — if this energetic beg 
ning found a very meagre answer in the subsequent c( 
duct of the war, and if none of these great projects v, 
carried into execution ; a main cause of all these results 
to be found in the wise conduct of Pericles. If Ath( 
had allowed herself to be driven to premature expressic 
of indignation and measures of hostility, the war-party 
Sparta would have been greatly benefited, which y 
annoyed by nothing so much as by the unimpassioc 
attitude of the Athenians, who quietly insisted on t 
legal basis of the treaties. Thus the blame of the rupti 
of peace was thrown upon the adversary ; the party 
those who still hesitated, — a very numerous party 
Sparta, with King Archidamus at its head, — who, in opj 
sition to the hot-headed Ephors, had demanded an adj 
rence to the constitutional track of law, could not rec< 
cile itself to the fact that the war was, on the part 
Sparta, an unjust war. Thus the national ardor in I 
execution of the war-plans was damped from the fir 
that courage was wanting, which a good conscience ale 
can bestow. 

Chap.'I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 33 

The Lacedaemonians, from whom the 
attack proceeded, must, it is true, have long g The P lans of 
before formed a plan of operations. As to 
this, they had the choice, whether they intended to con- 
tent themselves with their existing resources of war and 
their traditional method of conducting it, or whether they 
would attempt entirely new modes of procedure. The 
latter was the view of the Corinthians, who alone among 
all the Peloponnesians had a conception of the power of 
Athens. They knew, that by sea only could a successful 
contest be waged against Athens ; hence, even at the risk 
of suffering defeats at first, it was by sea that she must be 
opposed : for thus alone would it be possible to encourage 
the allies to revolt, and to cut off from the Athenians 
money-tributes as well as provisions. By degrees a navy 
would be formed capable of successfully encountering 

For this purpose, nothing ought to be left untried, not 
even the treasures of the temples spared, nor aid refused in 
any shape or form. Had not even King Archidamus 
in Sparta openly expressed his opinion : that, in order to 
overcome a state like Athens, one ought not to shrink 
even from asking support from the Persians ? a proceed- 
ing, it is true, strangely in contrast with Sparta's national 
professions, and with the political principles of a Dorian 
state. But, above all, it was necessary to attempt to 
enlarge the confederation, and to extend it beyond the 
limits which it had occupied since the last treaties, i. e. 
since the conclusion of the Thirty Years' Peace. An 
endeavor was made to revive the ancient relations of com- 
mon descent, and to induce the colonies beyond the sea to 
unite with the Peloponnesus ; treaties were concluded with 
the towns in Sicily and Magna Grcecia; the subsidies and 
contingents to be furnished by each member of the con- 
federation were fixed ; 200 ships were confidently looked 
for from that quarter ; and already the total naval force 


34 History of Greece. t BooK r 

of the Peloponnesians was calculated to amount to 50 
ships of war.* 

A second method of attack, from which successfi 
results might be looked for, was the establishment of 
fortified place in Attica, whence a constant pressure migl 
be put upon the enemy, while his fugitive slaves wei 
attracted and communications opened with the discoi 
tented party in the capital. This method of making wa 
was not strange to the Dorians, whose ancestors ha 
after this fashion themselves overcome the earlier state 
of the peninsula (vol. i. p. 134). But even for this kin 
of undertaking the Lacedaemonians failed to manifest th 
requisite determination; and since even the treaties wit 
the allies beyond the sea were not carried out, th 
Spartans, after the fiery blaze of their first military ardo: 
after all their extensive armaments and high-flown desigr 
of ambition, fell back upon relying in the main on thei 
own land force, and flattered themselves with the belie 
that, by a succession of annual summer campaigns, the 
would be able to overcome Athens' power of resistanc 
They could not imagine that the Athenians would calm! 
sacrifice their annual harvests, and tranquilly remai 
within their walls , whilst, if they marched out for tli 
purpose of defence, the Spartans calculated on beatin 
them, and hoped that a defeat of the Athenians in thei 
own land would inevitably result in the desertion of thei 

On the other side, Pericles had clearl 

ate^oVspartiu - surve y e d tne situation ; nothing was furthe 
from his thoughts than a conceited ove] 
estimation of his own power; and doubtless he took 
more serious view of the position of Athens than h 
allowed to appear in his speeches, because in these he wa 

* Cf. Time. ii. 7, and Classen's note ; Diod. ii. 41. For the numbers < 
the land-forces (60,000) as given below, see Plut. Pericl. 33; cf. Sinteni 
p. 226 ff. 

Chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 35 

above all desirous of animating the citizens with courage 
and self-confidence. In spite of all her tardiness, and in 
spite of the palpable defects of her federal constitution, 
Sparta was a powerful foe. The whole of the Pelopon- 
nesus stood on her side, with the exception of Argos and 
Achaia ; and even among the Achaean cities, Pallene, the 
neighbor of Sicyon, with her brave citizens joined the 
Spartan side. The Spartans were still regarded in all 
Greece as heroes upon whom the spirit of Leonidas had 
descended, and ancient custom made the name of the 
Peloponnesians a title of honor. Outside the peninsula, 
the Boeotians were the irreconcilable foes of Athens. On 
account of their inferiority in culture and less active dis- 
position of mind, they were despised and derided by the 
Athenians ; but they were a sturdy race, of great vigor of 
action and fitness for military service ; a people whose 
history had not yet begun, when in the Persian wars their 
land earned nothing but misfortune and dishonor. For 
this purpose Thebos sought to unite the forces of the 
country; and the bold plans of her oligarchs found a 
strong support in the universal indignation prevailing in 
all parts of the country ; on account of Platoese, on 
account of the Attic occupation of Oropus and Euboea, 
and on account of the earlier attempts at conquest on the 
part of Athens. Such was particularly the case in the 
towns of Tanagra, Orchomenus, Copse, and others, where 
a strong government by the nobility had maintained itself. 
True, the Boeotians were without any common military 
organization, but the contingents of the individual towns 
had distinguished themselves while fighting in serried 
ranks ; the physical vigor of their citizens had been 
highly developed in the gymnasia ; and the noble families 
supplied chosen bands of warriors, composed of pairs of 
inseparable friends, who fought one by the side of the 
other. These Boeotians, like the Opuntian Locrians (in 
whom the memory of the despotic sway of the Athenians 

36 History of Greece. [Book : 

yet survived), were resolved from the first to adopt t 
cause of the Peloponnesians as their own. By th( 
Attica was menaced in the rear ; and not only Atti< 
but also Euboea : they were moreover able to suppleme 
the Spartan forces by means of their cavalry. Phoc 
too, notwithstanding her enmity against Delphi, adher 
to the Peloponnesians, probably, from hatred agaii 
Thessaly, which was allied with Athens. Lastly, neitl] 
were the Peloponnesians without the necessary materij 
for the establishment of a naval power ; since -Corinl 
with her colonies, Ambracia and Leucas, and furth 
Megara, Sicyon, Pallene, Elis, Epidaurus, Troezene, ai 
Hermione, were able to furnish vessels and crews ; wh 
the Spartans themselves put their docks at Gytheum in 
new order, and recommenced the building of ships of wj 
after they had, since the treason of Pausanias, renounc 
all ideas of naval supremacy, and, according to the prin 
pies of Hetcemaridas (vol. ii. p. 374) abstained from i 
interference in the affairs of states beyond the sea. 

But their real strength lay in the suj 
Advantages on r i r numbers of their land army. F( 

the side of the . - - - -^ - . 

Peloponnesians. upon the whole, the reloponnesus number 
more inhabitants than at any previo 
time ; and, notwithstanding the neutrality of Argos ai 
Achaia, was able, inclusive of the auxiliary troops, to se] 
60,000 heavy-armed troops into the field. The Pelopc 
nesians, moreover, enjoyed these advantages : that a lea 
ing state of their confederation, at once so powerful ai 
so pre-eminently active as Corinth, lay in the immedia 
vicinity of the portal of the peninsula, as a chosen pla 
for the assemblage of the forces ; and that they had 
their hands the passes of the mainland. But the woi 
danger of all for Athens consisted in her being not on 
surrounded on all sides by declared enemies, but ever 
where in her own camp threatened by treason and fait 
lessness. The Peloponnesian states had no other cent 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 37 

than Sparta; nature directed them to hold together in good 
and in evil fortune, and they were indissolubly knit 
together by a long history and by a community of inter- 
ests, manners, and race. The allies of Athens, on the con- 
trary, were eagerly awaiting an opportunity of shaking 
off her burdensome yoke : incapable of real independence, 
they were yet unwilling to obey the stronger. As Hel- 
lenes, they could not reconcile themselves to the loss of 
their independence, and insidious agitation had raised 
their indignation to fever heat. While some were eager 
to attempt their own liberation, others thought it neces- 
sary at the last moment to secure their menaced indepen- 
dence. Nowhere was a just and equitable judgment of 
existing circumstances and of their causes to be met with. 
No one recalled what Athens had done, in war and in 
peace, to glorify the Greek name ; all grateful recognition 
had been changed to hatred ; the splendor of the capital, 
which was to mollify the disinclination to subordination, 
was merely a source of annoyance; and in proportion 
as the universal disaffection was obscure in its motives 
and fanciful in its expression, the difficulty of overcoming 
it increased. The ancient dislike of the Dorians against 
the Ionians, the hatred of the aristocrats against popular 
government, the envy of the poor against the rich, the 
jealousy of intellectual narrowness against an eminent 
culture and brilliant deserts — all these motives co-oper- 
ated with one another. And it was in this that the main 
element of the power of Sparta consisted, that she was so 
strongly supported by the general sentiments of the Hel- 
lenes. The victory of Sparta was universally desired. 
Every success of her forces, every mishap of the Athe- 
nians, would give to Sparta new allies among the number 
of those who were still timidly refraining from openly 
taking her part. Everywhere this easily moved nation 
was filled by the foolish hope, that Sparta would restore a 
new happy time of liberty to all Hellenes. The great 

38 History of Greece. [Book : 

mass completely deceived themselves as to Sparta, wlii 
was totally unknown to them; and they were equal 
ignorant, how the state of Lycurgus had more and mc 
changed into a self-seeking aristocracy, whose policy w 
dictated by narrow-minded family interests ; they eith 
did or would not see, that in her sphere of action the cc 
duct of Sparta was as despotic as that of Athens ; that s 
regulated the affairs of the confederation only for the sa 
of her private advantage, and hindered the free develo 
ment of constitutional life. All that Sparta had lack 
for establishing a dominion like that of Athens had be 
spirit and intelligence. But the circumstance that t 
Spartaus demanded no tribute sufficed to make the 
appear as the representatives of liberty against the despc 
ism of Athens. Of this deceptive notion they now to< 
full advantage for their own benefit. There was to be ] 
question of a war in which two powers of equal rigli 
stood opposed to one another ; but the cause of Sparta w 
declared to be the national cause, the sacred cause c 
Right ; while Athens was the revolutionary power whi< 
had overthrown Hellenic law. Hence Sparta cou 
regard the support of her cause as a duty ; whosoev 
opposed himself to it committed a national crime, ar 
incurred a share in the guilt of the destruction of tl 
nation's rights. Not Sparta, but Hellas, under the leade 
ship of Sparta, was warring against Athens. Thus polii 
cal contrasts were proclaimed very similar to those of tl 
times of the Wars of Liberation ; there again existed 
national or patriotic party and the opposite. But the 
positions had been reversed. Those who had then be< 
the leaders of the national party were now the " traitors 
while those states which had given up the soil of Gree< 
to the barbarians now stood on the side of the " liber 
tors " as champions of Hellenic rights, without havir 
changed their convictions. For wherever families of tl 
nobility had still retained authority — in Megara, i 

Chap, i.j The War to the Death of Pericles. 39 

Boeotia, in Thessaly, &c. — these formed the closest junc- 
tion with Sparta, because they loathed Athens as the 
hearth of democracy. Thus the Peloponnesians had on 
their side both the unintelligent dreams of freedom on the 
part of oppressed civic communities, and the ambition and 
love of power which animated the aristocrats. 

Despite of all these considerations, Peri- 
cles was fully determined that Athens should The resources 
not purchase peace by cowardly concessions. 
For, unless the city would assent voluntarily to descend 
from her lofty position, war was inevitable ; nor was there 
any prospect of an increase of the resources and defensive 
power of Athens. Three hundred swift-sailing triremes 
were in readiness — sufficient, when divided into squadrons, 
to cover the importation of necessaries by sea, to keep a 
watch on the allies, and to disturb the tranquility of the 
hostile shores. Transports and light boats were at hand 
in corresponding numbers. 1,200 cavalry and 29,000 
foot-soldiers stood under arms; 16,000 for garrison duty, 
and 13,000 for service in open field. The army was used 
to active service and in excellent condition ; nor was the 
naval force (as the Corinthians frequently chose to pretend) 
composed in the main of hired mercenaries; but the tri- 
remes were commanded by citizens, who defended the 
deck of their ship as if it had been a piece of their native 
soil. The resident aliens (who performed their share of 
service) were to be relied upon, and their interests were 
mixed up with those of the state. Athens numbered 
among her citizens a large body perfectly qualified to 
assume independent posts of command, while Sparta had 
never had any opportunity of training generals and admi- 
rals. The finances of the state were in perfect order. 
On large blocks of stone, which were set up near the 
temples on the Acropolis, were seen the list of tributary 
cities and the sums of their tributes, which, after the 
expiration of the quadrennial periods of assessment, were 

40 History of Greece. [ BooK 

revised anew. Exact control over this department \ 
the most important point in Attic political wisdom, a 
only recently Pericles had, with regard to the expec 
war, been actively endeavoring to place the financ 
resources of the country more and more at the absoli 
disposal of the state (vol. ii. p. 633). Of the surplus 
the tributes, after the completion of the Propylcea a 
other works of magnificence, and after the expenditure 
account of the siege of Potidsea, there yet remained 6,C 
talents (1,462,500£) in the treasury. In this estim 
were not included the dedicatory gifts deposited in 1 
citadel — above all, the golden robe of Athene Parthen 
the value of which amounted to 400 talents of silv 
To these had to be added the annual revenues, from 1 
domains, duties, taxes, &c, amounting to at least 4 
taLnts, which were collected in Athens itself, as well 
the 600 talents of tribute furnished by the towns ; 1 
total accordingly amounting to 1,000 talents (243,730 
Provision had been made for war — supplies of eve 
description ; the armories were filled with weapons, n 
siles, and machines ; and the navy was more universa 
feared after the subjection of Samos than at any pre vie 
period. The Athenian navy had become familiar with 
parts of the sea, with all its sounds and harbors ; and 
the structure and equipment of the vessels no less than 
the long practice of the crews was far superior to all otl 
navies, even in case of an equality of numbers. 1 
limits of the Athenian supremacy included more than 3 
cities, partly of considerable size, many of which pi 
tribute in conjunction with other smaller places not nam 
in the list ; so that the sum total of the dependent tovN 
probably was from twice to thrice as large as that kno 1 
to us. Within these wide limits, when necessity demand 
it, a levy was also made of sea and land troops. T 
independent allies of Athens, besides the faithful Chis 
and the Lesbians, consisted of Corcyra and Zacynth 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 41 

With the Acarnanians and with Cephallenia her relations 
were friendly ; so that the Athenians were secure of the 
Ionic as well as of their own sea, and in the west occupied 
military positions of great importance against Pelopon- 
nesus. Lastly, in the north they had renewed their 
ancient alliance with the Thessalians, who were able to 
support them with cavalry. If, then, this abundance of 
resources was by the unanimous confidence of a patriotic 
community entrusted to the wisdom of such a statesman 
and general as Pericles, the future might be met with 
calm tranquility, even against a terrible enemy. With 
a small army the Peloponnesians could not dare to arrive, 
and with a large army they could not long maintain them- 
selves in Attica, if flocks and herds and provisions had 
been previously secured. The city of Athens had been 
purposely rendered capable of being for a time independent 
of the country around. A siege was out of the question, 
as the Peloponnesians were unable to cut off the supplies. 
The frontiers were secured by fortresses which could 
receive the peasantry into the shelter of their walls. 
Pericles had completed his great works of peace and his 
armaments for war ; and delay could bring with it nothing 
but loss. For, in the first place, no more favorable op- 
portunity could present itself of carrying on a just war 
of defence ; and again, every sign of fear of itself consti- 
tuted a defeat, and an encouragement for the foe. Lastly, 
indications were not wanting which made any further 
procrastination appear dangerous, even if the war could 
have been delayed without damage to the honor of Athens. 
For Pericles was both justified in confessing to himself, 
and forced to recognize, this fact : that a successful result 
of the war in a great measure depended upon the extent to 
which the citizens would bestow their full confidence upon 
himself, and to which he should retain the physical 
and moral force necessary to lead them according to his 

42 History of Greece, [Book ] 

As to the former point, the opposite 

po^ro/ofperf- a £ ainst Pericles h ^d never been whol 
cies. removed, but merely temporarily driv 

into the background. The landed prop 

etors found themselves damaged by the one-sided encoi 

agement of the maritime and mercantile interests ; the o 

party of the aristocrats had remained implacable; ai 

equally little could the zealous friends of democracy 

satisfied with a mau, who practically defeated the prim 

pies of the latter. The former indulged in a secret ho 

that together with Pericles would fall the democratic s} 

tern on which he had founded his power, while the latt 

hoped that not until then would the democracy be ful 

and really established. If both these parties united 

order to accomplish what was the immediate object < 

either, there must necessarily be great apprehension as 

the consequences. As yet, the authority of Pericles w 

unshaken; his successful measures of foreign and dome 

tic policy, and the resolute and clear consistency of h 

statesmanship, exalted him above any attack. Nor was 

lively recognition of these wanting ; even new honors, sue 

as had previously not fallen to the lot of any citizen (a 

e. g., the wreath of olive bestowed upon him by the stat 

adorned his head — a symbol of triumphant gratitude t 

wards the statesman glorious on account of his service 

the Goddess of the State, — towards the hero of peace. 

But the same man w T as also subjected 

His enemies, unfair judgments, to slander, and to moc' 

and their attacks TT . , , , , , . , 

upon him. er J- -"- 1S own sons laughed at his iondne 

for sophistic exercises in speculation ; h 
pride was offensive, and his authority burdensome, to tl 
citizens. The less men ventured to oppose him openl 
the more they found fault with his measures ; and h 
purest intentions were shamefully misinterpreted. Su( 
was, e. g. f the case in the affair of Corcyra ; the fleet of t( 
ships was ridiculed, and then the explanation of th 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 43 

" half-measure " sought in the assumption, that it was 
merely intended by way of an annoyance to Lacedsemo- 
nius, and as a method of artfully bringing the latter into 
disfavor with his own party, which was well-disposed 
towards the Lacedaemonians (p. 13). Personally, Pericles 
afforded his opponents no handle for attack ; but, unfortu- 
nately, his surroundings were not always of the most 
unexceptionable description. He was so decidedly the 
first man in Athens, that men of independent character 
were not always ready to act as the instruments of his 
policy. With all the greater eagerness, men of an inferior 
kind thronged around him, hoping while renouncing all 
independent action to secure for themselves a variety of 
personal advantages. Among these were Metiochus or 
Metichus, a rhetor and architect, who also shared the 
office of general with Pericles, and who, contrary to the 
fundamental law of the democracy, simultaneously filled 
several of the lesser, but at the same time influential, 
offices of state ; so that in the streets these verses might be 
heard sung in mockery of him ; — 

u Metichus commands our armies, Metichus lays down our streets, 
Metichus controls our breadstuff's, Metichus our corn and meal. 
Here and everywhere is Metichus : so let Metichus beware." • 

Among these followers of Pericles were also Charinus, 
the author of the Megarean decree, and Menippus, whom 
Pericles on several occasions employed as his second in 
command. Still less popular was the wealthy and luxuri- 
ous Pyrilampes, who had established an aviary, which 
was one of the curiosities of Athens, and which on the 
first day of every month was exhibited to natives and 
strangers. He was particularly proud of his peacocks, a 
species of bird hitherto wholly unknown in Greece, and, 
as the story went, supplied Pericles with specimens, which 

* See Note II. Appendix. 

44 History of Greece. [Book 

the latter bestowed as love-gifts upon his courtes; 
Such-like town-scandal was seized upon by the writers 
comedy, to whom nothing could afford a more welc< 
chance of satisfying the risible tendencies of the Ai 
nians, than the chance of bringing before their eyes 
lofty Olympian, astray in the paths of human frai 
Accordingly, they spiced their plays with allusions, n 
or less open, to the aviary of Pyrilampes, and to the ^ 
of Menippus (who was said to have helped her husbanc 
the dignity of general), as well as to other fair Ather 
ladies, of whom it was rumored that they might be 
with in the workshops of Phidias, where they occasion; 
made the acquaintance of the head of the state, that € 
nent patron of art. Hermippus called Pericles a " pri 
of satyrs," in allusion to the unworthy dependents 
rounding him ; the nickname of " the new Pisistratic 
was another invention of the comedians, by which the 
lowing of Pericles was compared to the court of a tyr 
Nor was Cratinus (vol. ii. p. 592), whose sentiments wer 
favor of Cimon, sparing of the person of Pericles, 
extreme recklessness to which these derisive attacks v 
carried may be gathered from the fact, that a limitai 
of the liberty of the stage appeared necessary in the iu 
ests of public order ; a measure which was assuredly c 
passed in conformity with the wish of Pericles. As ei 
as the Samian war a popular decree was carried, by wl 
the comic writers were prohibited from exposing i 
viduals, indicated by name or portrait mark, to the lai 
ter of the public ; — a law which was published under 
name of Antimachus, but only remained in force fc 
period of three years, up to 01. lxxxv. 4 (b. c. 427). 
a far more serious nature than these passing quarrels ^ 
the public and the stage were the attacks upon his po] 
proceeding from its old and new enemies. The anc 
charges were once more revived : of waste of the pu 
money, of the support of free-thinking, and of other 

Chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 45 

nicious tendencies opposed to the traditions of the ances- 
tors of the Athenians. In the first instance, however, 
these attacks were not directed against Pericles in person, 
but against those who were regarded as the most promi- 
nent representatives of these tendencies, and who w 7 ere at 
the same time most intimatelv connected with Pericles : 


viz. against Phidias, Anaxagoras, and Aspasia. 

After the completion of the Parthenon, 
Phidias had come to be universally recog- Q . Phl ^ ias at 
nized as the greatest master of plastic art lxxxvi. (b. c. 
among the Hellenes ; and it was a triumph years ^ n 
of the Periclean policy, to have caused 
Athens to be regarded as the high school of Hellenic art. 
In this intellectual domain the hegemony of Athens was 
so incontestable, that all dispute as to comparative claims 
was at an end ; and even foreign states, which in other 
respects grudged any pre-eminence to the Athenians, 
applied to Athens, in order to enable themselves to exe- 
cute works satisfying the demands of the times in sacred 
architecture and sculpture. In the domain of art a cer- 
tain reconciliation was undeniably effected between the 
mutually jealous and hostile sentiments of the several 
states. Thus Phidias himself aided the Megarean Theo- 
cosmus with his figure of Zeus ; and his scholars worked 
in Peloponnesus and in Boeotia: — Thrasymedes for the 
Epidaurians, Agoracritus for Coronea, and Colotes for 
Cyllene. Attic artists were summoned to Delphi, in order 
to decorate the sanctuary of Apollo with groups of statu- 
ary on the pediment ; and the official authorities of Elis, 
whose duty it was to provide for the Peloponnesian federal 
sanctuary (vol. i. p. 255), summoned Phidias, w 7 ho w r ith 
his brother Pansenus, with Colotes, Pseonius, Alcamenes, 
and a whole colony of Attic artists, migrated to Olympia, 
there to undertake the mightiest task which could be 
imposed upon plastic art — a task which was confided to 
him with absolute confidence and lofty liberality. It 

46 History of Greece. [Book 

greatly resembled that which he had recently acc( 

plished in Athens. For, as in the Parthenon, so now 

the sanctuary of the Olympian Zeus, was to be execu 

with all the resources of art, with gold and jewels, w 

ivor} r , ebony, and the brilliant decoration of colors, 

statue of the god, not for the purpose of worship ( 

Zeus was worshipped at Olympia without an image), but 

a gorgeous spectacle, as a dedicatory offering to the g 

which was eventually executed on a scale of incomparal 

greater magnificence than even that of Athene Partner] 

The creation of Phidias was a figure of Zeus in a sitti 

posture, a statue of colossal dimensions, for which e\ 

the mighty temple seemed too confined a space. In 1 

head of the god Phidias combined the characteristics 

power and grace, of majesty and gentleness : the loc 

were those of the Homeric Zeus, at the motion of whi 

Olympus trembled. The golden robe, which covered t 

lower limbs, left free the mighty breast ; on his hand t 

god bore the figure of the Goddess of Victory, as did t 

Athene Parthenos. For he, too, was in this represen 

tion conceived of not only as a crowned conqueror w 

had overthrown all his enemies, but also as the giver 

victory ; because in his immediate presence, and in ] 

name, were distributed the Olympian olive-wreaths, t 

highest prizes of Hellenic valor. 

Relatives of Phidias remained at E] 
Prosecution of and were there invested with the heredita 


office of perpetually preserving in go 
repair the statue of Zeus ; while the sculptor himse 
returned to Athens, crowned with the fulness of artis 
fame. Here he found a dangerous change to ha 
supervened in public opinion. After the completion < 
the Propylsea, Pericles, as it appears, had to present i 
exact account of the expenditure on the buildings on t 
citadel ; and this opportunity his enemies had selected f 
an insidious attack. An inferior artist, Meno by nan 

Chap. 1] The War to the Death of Pericles. 47 

was made to sit down before the altars on the market (as 
those were wont to do who placed themselves under the 
protection of the community, in order to be able, without 
any danger to themselves, to make a charge against 
persons in a position of power). He was promised this 
protection : whereupon he accused Phidias of having 
retained for himself a part of the gold supplied to him 
for the golden robe of Athene Parthenos. The plot was 
clumsily devised; for, by the advice of Pericles, the 
golden robe in question had been purposely contrived so a3 
to admit of being taken off again : it was weighed, and 
found to have its proper weight. 

But the hostile party would not allow itself to be dis- 
couraged. A second charge was brought, a charge of 
impiety. In the battle of the Amazons, represented on 
the shield of Athene, two figures were discovered which 
bore the features of Pericles and Phidias. Himself the 
artist had represented as a bald-headed old man, lifting a 
block of stone with both his hands, but Pericles in the 
noble figure of a warrior hurling a spear, who was made 
to cover the middle of his face with his own hand, but 
not so as to prevent the likeness from being undeniable. 
In this, it was asserted, lay a self-seeking vanity, violating 
the sanctity of the temple: the citizens demanded the 
personal arrest of the artist — a sign that it was contrived 
to give the subject of the charge the character of a plot 
endangering the safety of the state. While the menda- 
cious accuser was rewarded by the bestowal of privileges 
as a public benefactor, and recommended as a martyr of 
liberty to the especial protection of the generals of the 
city — Pericles among their number — Phidias, who had 
established the glory of his native city with more brilliant 
and undisputed success than any other of his contempora- 
ries, was sent to prison as a criminal. _ ,. . _. . 

. . . Death of Phi- 

Here he died, according to the usual tradi- dias. Oi.ixxxvi. 

tion before the inquiry had terminated, ( B * c ' 432 *' 

48 History of Greece. [Book 

broken by old age and grief. Not even then was 
poisonous tongue of scandal hushed ; but, on the c 
trary, the rumor was spread that Pericles himself ] 
caused his friend to be made away with, in order to j 
vent further inquiry and anticipate awkward disclosu 
The object of the second attack i 
Angoras? " Anaxagoras, who had for many years le< 
peaceable existence at Athens, in blame] 
seclusion and without ambition, entirely devoted to 
philosophical and mathematical studies, and not e^ 
busying himself with becoming the founder of a sch< 
But he was the most intimate friend of Pericles, whoa 
was impossible to hurt more deeply than by persecut 
his Anaxagoras. For this purpose a combination y 
effected between men of the most opposite parti 
between honest adherents of ancient religion and moral 
on the one hand, whose sentiments attached them tc 
Cimon and a Thucydides, and on the other hand 
earliest champions of an unlimited democracy, such 
Cleon, whose only real object was the overthrow of P< 
cles. The organ of religious fanaticism was Diopitha 
priest and popular orator of passionate temperament, w 
by assuming the madness of one divinely inspired, di 
the eyes of the multitude upon himself, delivered orac 
in a shrill voice, and excited the people. He procu 
the passing of a decree, by which all who denied 
national religion, and who philosophized on matters app 
taining to the gods, were to be indicted as state crimim 
Thus a weapon had been obtained against the philosop 
cal friends of Pericles. Damon (vol. ii. p. 483) -s 
banished, and Anaxagoras involved in most serious le 
proceedings ; so that Pericles was obliged to recognize 
impossibility of obtaining the acquittal of his friend. . 
loyally declared himself in favor of the latter ; but I 
to congratulate himself on being able to save so much 
the life of Anaxagoras, whom he was forced personally 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 49 

advise to quit Athens ; and to his deep sorrow he saw the 
aged philosopher take his departure for Lampsacus. 
Encouraged by this success, the hostile 
party advanced with still greater boldness Prosecutlon of 

* J m ° Aspasia. 

against Pericles ; and directed their next 
attack against Aspasia, who on the comic stage had often 
been ridiculed as the Here of the Olympian Zeus, and as 
the new Oinphale or Deianira, who had imposed her 
fetters upon the weighty Heracles. The jest was now 
changed into solemn earnest. The comic writer Hermip- 
pus appeared as public prosecutor, and called the proud 
Milesian lady to account before the jury for her impiety, 
and for her sins against good and honest morality ; charg- 
ing her with tempting free-born women into her house for 
vile purposes. In this matter Pericles could not give way. 
He laid his entire authority into the scale of her cause ; 
with her he was determined to stand or fall. He appeared 
as her advocate before the people ; but he was no longer 
the proud statesman, calm in the consciousness of victory: 
with tears he entreated the judges to spare him such an 
insult as this : and thus he obtained her acquittal from 
the dangerous charge which had been brought against her 
from motives of hostility against himself, and which was 
accordingly treated as a party question. 
Finally, an immediate and personal 

. . , . Prosecution of 

attack was made upon the person of Fen- Pericles himself. 
cles himself: and on the motion of Dracon- p 1 - lx ** v "* 1 " 

(b. c. 431.) 

tides it was resolved that he should be 

obliged to hand in before the Prytanies a complete 

account as to the public moneys which had passed through 

his hands, and that a solemn judgment should be held as 

to his guilt or innocence on the citadel at the altar of 

Athene. This mode of procedure was, however, on the 

motion of Hagnon (vol. ii. p. 537) again altered, and it 

was determined that the matter should be decided before a 

court of 1,500 jttrywn, to whom it was left to decide 

50 History of Greece. [Book 

whether the matter should be treated as f prosecution : 
misappropriation of the public money, or for corruptk 
or in general for damage done to the interests of the co: 

Although this time the attack of the ei 
Pericles' reasons m ies failed, yet these proceedings sufficient 

and motives for , . 

desiring war. prove how dangerous and threatening t 
situation of Pericles had become, since t 
conservative party of the old aristocrats made comm 
cause against him with the new democratic party win 
had formed itself during the years of peace, while priest 
fanaticism endeavored ceaselessly to heighten the ill-fe 
ing against him. These endeavors did not fail to exerc: 
a certain influence upon the citizens ; for, notwithstandi] 
all his sagacity, Pericles had been unable to prevent 1 
whole position in the state, and particularly his associati 
with the artists, philosophers, and Ionic women, frc 
awakening a vivid reminiscence of the style of Tyrannic 
rule, and thereby affording various occasions of orTen( 
These conflicts, which Pericles had to sustain on his o\ 
and his friends' behalf, belong to the first and second ye 
of the 87th Olympiad (431 b. a), i. e. to the same time 
that in which the Lacedaemonians sent their embassies 
Athens ; nor can we doubt that the great change whi 
had taken place in the sentiments of the Athenian citize 
was well known in Sparta, and that probably the demai 
urging the expulsion of the AlcmseonidaB was made wi 
the co-operation of the aristocratic party in Athei 
Pericles himself issued forth victoriously from all person 
attacks ; but he could not refuse to recognize the diffici 
ties of his position ; for the parties of his opponents hi 
proved their strength, and might at any time unite f 
another onset. Hence, with regard even to himself p( 
sonally, hf was of opinion that the war, which was in ai 

,;f See Note III. Appendix. 

Chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 51 

case inevitable, could not break out at a more favorable 
moment : he might expect that the common danger would 
divert public attention from home affairs, render harmless 
the power of his adversaries, strengthen patriotic feeling, 
and make manifest to the Athenians the need in which 
they stood of his services. Although, then, the accusation 
which the comic poets made against him was unjust, when 
they placed the whole war to the account of Pericles, 
who, in order to extricate himself out of his difficulties, 
" cast the Megarean decree like a spark upon Hellas, 
which was filled with combustible materials;" yet the 
connection between the war and the political trials enu- 
merated above is undeniable : for the latter not only en- 
couraged the enemies of Pericles in Sparta, but also deter- 
mined him more thoroughly himself to accept war. The 
heavily charged atmosphere could not be better purified 
than by a just war, although Pericles could not for a 
moment fail to perceive, that the war itself would involve 
him personally in new dangers. For, as his speeches 
prove, he divined with perfect clearness, that any unex- 
pected mishap in the war would cause his fall ; he was 
well acquainted with the inconstancy and impatience of the 
Athenians ; he knew that he could not carry out his system 
of operations which was the only safe one, without imposing 
the greatest sacrifices upon the citizens. They would have 
to master their own feelings sufficiently to give up their 
lands calmly to the foe ; for only thus could the Pelopon- 
nesians be made to exhaust themselves in fruitless exer- 
tions, and at last to find themselves forced to make peace. 
In order to carry out this plan of operations, there was 
needed a man of immovable calm and of proved authority 
— a statesman and commander, who was incoutestably 
the first among his fellow-citizens. Pericles knew that 
success was bound up with his person ; accordingly he 
necessarily wished, not from any selfish, but from the most 
purely patriotic motives, that the war might begin while 

52 History of Greece. [ b <*>k I 

he yet retained the full vigor requisite for the leader < 

Thus the two states lay face to face, ready and resolv< 
for war ; but neither as yet struck the first blow. Athe: 
desired, on principle, to remain on the defensive; ai 
Sparta hesitated before taking the decisive step. Tl 
whole nation was meanwhile anxiously waiting the even 
which the immediate future would bring with it ; some 
impatient anticipations, the others full of dark foreboding 
For the younger generation capable of bearing arn: 
which in large numbers and vigorous health filled tl 
ranks on either side of the Isthmus, and which had gro\> 
up in times of peace, unacquainted with the terrors of 
civil war, felt a vague longing for change from an insu 
portable state of things, a desire for the hour of final de( 
sion, which would enable them to prove their powers ar 
do mighty deeds. They thought it better that tl 
opposing parties should fight out their differences in op( 
war, than that they should continue, like a secret poiso 
to consume the vitals of the nation. 

On the other hand, the men of greater experience ar 
thoughtfulness took into anxious consideration the ii 
calculable consequences which the first sanguinary mee 
ing between the two great states would necessarily brii 
with it, and their anxious foreboding found expressic 
and confirmation in the dark and cheerless oracles whic 
passed from mouth to mouth among the people : ev 
omens of all kinds were sought and found ; terrif 
natural phenomena made their appearance, particular" 
an earthquake on Delos (according to accurate inquii 

* The view in the text as to the connection of the war with the pub] 
law-suits is based upon Ar. Pax, 603 ; npura fiev yap avTTj? (the readii 

already Of Diod. xii. 40 ; irairos Sauppe) ^pfe «J>eiSi'a? 7rpafas *a»ca>s, ei 
llepcKAeTjs <J>o/3t}0€is, p.ij p.fTa<r\Oi ttj? tux 1 ?? — efe'^Ae^e rrjv no\t.v infiaMav cririvdr) 
niKpbv MeyapiKOu >)ir)<}>i<TnaTOS, Kafe^vo-jjaey, roaovrov noXefxou. Cf. Saupj 

p. 186. 

Chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 53 

the first visitation of the kind upon the Holy Island, 
which men believed to be immovably fixed in the depths 
of the sea).* 

The war was to break out after a wholly 
unexpected fashion, neither from Sparta, Outbreak of the 

a *i 1 t* mi i ix»i war - 01. lxxxvii. 

nor from Athens, but from Ihebes. lhe i. (b. c. 431.) 
latter stood at the head of a confederation 
of ten cities, and, being full of ambition, aimed at a wider 
dominion. The most influential personage at Thebes, the 
leader of the oligarchic government, was Eurymachus, 
the son of Leontiadas, a sworn foe to the policy of Peri- 
cles. He wished to make his native city the capital of 
all Boeotia ; a plan which nothing seemed to him to ob- 
struct so much as Plataeae. The Plataean land had been 
recognised as sacred territory by the treaties (vol. ii. p. 
343) ; Platsea3 was most intimately connected with Athens, 
and stood under a democratic government ; at the same 
time it separated the Thebans from the territory of the 
Peloponnesian confederation, which commenced on the 
further side of the Cithseron, and, in short, in every respect 
constituted a thorn in their side. For since the Wars of 
Liberation a peculiar halo surrounded the name of the 
Platseans ; they kept up the most honorable family con- 
nections with Sparta and Athens ; and although the 
national institutions founded by Aristides, particularly 
the federal assemblages at Platsese, had never been actually 
carried out, yet the citizens of the town had dedicated 
noble temples and offerings out of their share in the 
spoils ; Phidias and Polygnotus had embellished for them 
their sanctuary of the war-goddess of Athene (vol. ii. p. 
599), the festivals of Zeus the Liberator, as well as the 
annual celebration in memory of the dead heroes, pre- 
served the fame of the city fresh and blooming ; and even 

* Thuc. ii. 8, in express, and probably intentional, contradiction to 
Herod, vi. 98; as is correctly judged by Classen ad Thuc. Cf. KirckhofE 
Abfa88ung8Z d. Herod. Geschichtwerks, p. 19. 

54 History of Greece. [3ook r 

after the Wars of Liberation her citizens had always stoo 
at the side of the Athenians, wherever there was any dee 
of glory to be done. 

Here were reasons enough to supply the envy an 
hatred of the Thebans with constant fuel. As long as tli 
two great states held together, it was believed that u 
change of territorial relations was possible. But now 
favorable opportunity seemed to have arrived for ove; 
powering the hated neighbor. If the other treaties wei 
dissolved, why should the Platsean continue to be r< 
spected? The sooner the attack was carried out, th 
better chance there appeared to be of its success ; an 
when the blow had once been dealt, the approval of Spart 
would follow as a matter of course, since nothing coul 
be more advantageous to the latter in her conduct of th 
war than the establishment of a friendly military statio: 
on the Attic frontier, such as she had herself alread 
intended to found at Tanagra (vol. ii. p. 439). 

Accordingly Eurymachus placed himsel; 

Surprise of j n communication with oligarchical parti 

i I&X868B. , -r-v. 

sans in Platasse; secretly got ready hi 
army ; and one evening (in the beginning of April shortl; 

before the new moon) sent 300 heavy-arme< 
April ) ar y m s °ldiers m advance to Platsea?, whose gate 

were traitorously opened to them ; an< 
before the citizens, who had peaceably laid themselve 
down to rest after a public festival, had any suspicion oJ 
this shameful violation of the peace, their market-plac 
was occupied by the hostile troops. When the Theban 
thus believed themselves to be in possession of the city 
they wished to give a more suspicious coloring to thei 
bad cause ; they accordingly refused to accede to th 
desire of the traitors and seize upon the heads of th 
democracy, and rather attempted the line of persuasion, ii 
the hope of immediately obtaining from the terrified citizen 
a declaration to the effect that they consented to join th 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 55 

confederation of Boeotian cities under the hegemony of 
Thebes Thus, as they hoped, in view of the small num- 
ber of their troops, the accession of Plataese would 
appear voluntarily ; and the matter might then be repre- 
sented, as if the Platseans had been only waiting for an 
opportunity to dissolve their unnatural connection with 
Athens. Negotiations were actually commenced with the 
hostile invaders. But during the progress of these nego- 
tiations it was for the first time observed, how trifling was 
the force of the Thebans ; and a struggle was quickly 
resolved upon. The citizens broke through the walls of 
their houses in order to be able to unite for a general 
attack; and while the Thebans felt absolutely certain of 
success, they suddenly, after standing through the whole 
night in pouring rain, towards the break of day found 
themselves attacked with such vehemence, that, after an 
obstinate resistance, they had to seek safety in flight. It 
was then that their troubles really began : for they lost 
their way in the narrow and muddy lanes, which were in 
addition barricaded with wagons ; and they were chased 
about the city in which they were shut up, since even the 
gate through which they had effected their entrance, and 
which was the only open one, had been in all haste bolted 
by the Platseans. The majority of the unhappy band was 
slain ; a few saved themselves by leaping down from the 
city walls ; 180 had to surrender at the pleasure of the 
victors. All this had taken place before the arrival of 
the Tlieban army, which was delayed by the rise of the 
river Asopus. The Thebans now attempted to make 
captives in the Plataean territory, in order to exchange them 
for their fellow-citizens ; but subsequently retired, after, as 
they affirmed, the restoration of the prisoners had been 
promised them under a solemn oath. Meanwhile, the 
Platseans hasted to bring all who remained outside the 
walls into safety within, and, as soon as this had been 
effected, put all the Thebans who were in their power to 

56 History of Greece. [ BoOK IT 

death. The messenger despatched by Pericles to war 
them most seriously against taking any unconsidere 
steps arrived too late ; the terrible deed had been .dom 
The Plataeans, for their part, denied that they had give 
a promise regarding the prisoners unconditionally bindin 
or confirmed by oath ; and possibly no calm agreemer 
had actually been arrived at. But, in any case, the dec 
was as inhuman as it was unwise ; for, while the Thebam 
if kept alive, would have been an invaluable possessio 
for Plataese and her allies, the only consequence of thei 
death was, that no idea of reconciliation could be eve 
henceforth entertained. Treason and murder, in thfl 
night of horrors, opened the war in Greece. Its beginnin 
showed every intelligent spectator what was to be expecte 
from its course. * 

As soon as the events in Bceotia becam 
of the C peiopon- known at Sparta, the messengers went fort 
nesians. (b. c. to summon the Peloponnesian army an 

431, June.) x . J 

the rest of the confederates, two-thirds o 
the whole military force, to the Isthmus. There Arch 
damus assumed the supreme command of the troops : i 
was the most considerable force which had ever ye 
assembled for an advance across the Isthmus. Archidt 
mus remained true to his character. His intention wa 
not to inflame the ardor of war ; rather, he was anxiou 
to tone down the high hopes of his troops ; for even a 
this season he would not hide his opinion as to the dangei 
ous power of the adversary, nor deny the ill-will wit 
which he still shrank from actually commencing the can 
paign. Not until Melesippus, whom he sent as the las 
messenger of peace to Athens, had been refused admittanc 
within the gates of the city, did Archidamus commenc 
his slow advance through Megaris. 

It was now that the first occasion arose for actually 

* See Note IV. Appendix. 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 57 

applying the system of defence devised Prc 
by Pericles, who at the same time him- measures of 
self as commander in-chief of the state, 
together with his official colleagues (who were merely 
the instruments of his will), assumed a more vigorous 
and unlimited guidance than ever of the affairs of 
state : extraordinary measures had become necessary, the 
energetic execution of which would have been possible to 
no other man but himself. A levy was ordered upon the 
allies ; a hundred vessels were made ready for sea in the 
Pirseeus ; the military stations in the country were fur- 
nished with the requisite means of defence, and the troops 
drilled, particularly the cavalry, which, together with the 
Thessalians, was to be employed in the open field. The 
citizen-cavalry had been increased to ten squadrons of a 
hundred each, who were annually selected out of the 
noblest and wealthiest families, and who formed the only 
standing body of national troops belonging to the Athe- 
nians, — the flower of their youth, the ornament and pride 
of the city, and therefore a force to which Pericles at- 
tached great importance. At the same time orders were 
issued to the inhabitants of the rural districts, to seek a 
secure refuge, with their wives and children. As at the 
time of the Persian troubles, all the inhabitants of the 
country quitted their houses and homesteads ; but not on 
the present occasion for the islands and the coasts beyond. 
Athens herself served the purpose of a safe island-refuge 
for the great majority ; and in dense swarms the peasants, 
laden with their goods and chattels, during several suc- 
cessive days thronged through the gates of the city into 
its narrow lanes, while the flocks and herds were shipped 
across the sea, chiefly to Euboea. It was a heavy sacrifice 
for the landed proprietors, used to country independence, 
to have to bid farewell to their carefully cultivated farms, 
homesteads, fields, and vineyards— to all their prosperity 
which, since the Persian wars, had but shortly before been 


58 History of Greece. [ B <*>* IV 

completely restored ; they had to part, at the same tim< 
from their holy places and sepulchres, and from all thei 
happy ways of life. It was a bitter and humiliatin, 
feeling, to have to give up all these without striking 
blow on their behalf. Within the city walls as muc' 
space as possible was cleared ; and hospitality used it 
best endeavors to alleviate discomfort. But under th 
pressure of these troublous days it became necessary t 
make use of sacred as well as profane localities ; and, i: 
spite of warning oracles, the so-called Pelasgicon unde 
the citadel was used for purposes of habitation. Well-tc 
do country proprietors had to find room with their sei 
vants in the towers of the walls ; between the three wall 
/eading to the port, and wherever else vacant spac 
existed, tents, huts, and bivouacs were arranged as bes 
4iey might. Archidamus, as Pericles was aware, stil 
continued to speculate on his fall. The last embassy ha< 
•only been sent with the intention of giving the party o: 
his opponents at Athens one more opportunity of rousinj 
itself to action. Some new insidious device was to b 
apprehended. Archidamus might take up the notion oi 
sparing the lands of Pericles, with whom he was coo 
nected by a. mutual bond of hospitality, in order in thi 
way to create suspicion against him. Accordingly Peri 
cles declared that, if his lands were spared by the enemy 
he would present them to the people. In the city itseli 
he took care that the strictest order should be maintained 
all assemblages of citizens were prohibited ; and, befor 
the enemy had shown himself, Athens was in a state oi 
siege. Only a single will was now to prevail ; for th< 
enemies at home, who availed themselves of every trouble 
of every difficulty, of every violation of ancient usage 
for the purpose of damaging Pericles, were even mor 
dangerous than the enemy outside the walls, and th< 
objects of either foe were identical. Pericles had passe( 
through many troubles and many dangers in his stornr 

Chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 59 

career; but the hardest task of all was now before 

The delay on the part of the hostile com- 
mander facilitated the preparatory measures Archidamus in 
of Pericles. This delay is explained by the 431, June.) 
circumstance, that Archidamus was in the 
first instance acting in concert with the Thebans. For 
while the latter were devastating the territory of Platsese, 
the Peloponnesians advanced along the other side of the 
Cithseron and laid siege to (Enoe, the frontier fortress of 
Attica, which lay at the base of the mountain range close 
to the sources of the Cephissus, which flows down to 
Elcusis. On this occasion the Spartans again followed a 
previous tradition. As early as the time of King Cleo- 
menes (vol. i. p. 418), an assault upon (Enoe had been 
concerted with the Boeotians because this place lay on the 
road to Thebes, and was accordingly equally well adapted 
for maintaining a connection with Peloponnesus and for 
commanding the Eleusinian plain. However, the mea- 
sures which Pericles had taken for its defence proved 
efficacious ; and the fortress successfully resisted the most 
strenuous attempts of Archidamus ; so that the latter 
relinquished the whole undertaking, and led his troops out 
of the mountains upon the plain, where meanwhile the 
June sun had ripened the corn. Eleven weeks had passed 
since the surprise of Platseae, when the troops, eager for 
booty, poured over the well-cultivated fields. Eleusis, 
strongly fortified, remained unendangered. Then an 
advance was made in the direction of Athens itself, but 
not on the straight road through the gorge of Pythion, 
but further to the north, through the broader indentation 
which separates Mount ^Egaleus from Mount Parnes, and 

* To UeKaayiKov apybv apeivov, ThllC. ii. 17. AcC. to Just. iii. 7, thfl 
landed property of Pericles actually remained untouched; Thuc. (ii. 13) 
merely says that Pericles protected himself against suspicion in view of 
this occurring. 

60 History of Greece. [ B( *> K iv 

leads to the upper division of the Athenian plain, o; 
which Acharnae was the principal place. This was th 
most densely populated district of Attica, capable o: 
furnishing 3,000 heavy-armed soldiers, and noted for 
sturdy and vigorous breed of inhabitants, partly charcoa' 
burners (who carried on their labors on Mount Parnes 
and of wine-growers. Upon these Archidamus hoped r 
produce a strong effect by his method of carrying on th 
war. For at this distance it was possible to see from th 
walls of Athens the camp-fires of the troops which la 
among the fields and vineyards ; and even the braves 
among the inhabitants were forced to remain inactiv 
spectators, while their houses and farm-buildings were d( 
stroyed by the flames. At the same time, the damage wa 
not as great as we might be inclined to suppose, judgin 
by the standard of modern times. Even the house 
of the city were for the most part of clay, and all th 
private dwellings, modestly furnished. But peace ha 
given a certain stimulus to ideas of luxury and comfort 
and in many quarters tasteful villas and pleasant countrj 
houses had risen up ; so that Archidamus found his me* 
sures answer their purpose. The citizens murmured an 
became turbulent, particularly the landed proprietors, wh 
in any case had to bear the heavy burdens of war, an 
who now saw ruin staring them in the face. Had PericL 
permitted an assembly of the people to be held on tl 
Pnyx, the most ill-considered resolutions would have bee 
passed. Instead of this, the people might be seen collec 
ing in knots and bands in the public streets and places, 1 
heap abuse upon Pericles, the author of these troubles, tt 
cowardly traitor. Was it not, they asked, to fill to ove 
flowing the measure of tyranny, that one man shod 
have it in his power to coop up the whole people withi 
the wall, and to deprive the citizens even of the right c 
defending their own fields ? A specimen of this abuse 
preserved in the fragment of a comedy of Hermippu: 

Chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 61 

" Thou prince of satyrs, wilt thou then never raise thy 
lance for the fight? Didst thou not erst with brave words 
assert thyself as leader in war? Whither has thy courage 
now fled ? Thou gnashest thy teeth in fury when thou 
hearest any one sharpening his knife on a stone, since 
Cleon, the wild fellow, gave thee a dressing." Cleon, the 
leather manufacturer, Simmias, Lacratidas, and others, 
made the most of the opportunity for achieving a leading 
position as spokesmen of the discontented party. Pericles 
allowed no person, with the exception of the cavalry, to 
quit the city ; and it was doubtless an additional reason 
for annoyance, that only the members of this aristocratic 
body were allowed the honor of measuring themselves 
with the enemy, and of protecting by successful skirmishes 
the fields in the immediate vicinity of the city. At 
the same time Pericles manned a well-equipped fleet of 
100 vessels with chosen troops, but himself remained at 
home at his more arduous post, where none could supply 
his place. Firmly and steadily he held the helm of the 
state in his hand ; and stood calm in the midst of the 
agitated multitude. 

About the same time that the fleet sailed out of the 
Piraeus, Archidamus quitted the Attic territoiy, after his 
army had, after a period of from four to five weeks, laid 
waste the entire north of the country as far as Eubcea ; 
like a swarm of locusts the Peloponnesians now departed, 
after eating up all the fruits of the fields. Probably the 
movement was partly owing to the spectacle of the Athe- 
nian fleet, which came into view sailing towards Pelopon- 
nesus, and thus reminded the troops of their unprotected 
villages and families at home.* 

* The Lacedaemonians invade Attica, *v Se^ia €\ovre^ to Aiy&keutv opo? 
Thuc. ii. 19. As to the excitement against Pericles, see ib. c. 21. As to 
Hermippus, Plut. c. 33. That the departure of the fleet had an effect 
upon that of the army is in itself highly probable, and is expressly stated, 
by Diodor. xii. 42. Grote, vol. vi. p. 180, is of a different opinion. 

62 History of Greece. E BooK iv 

The remainder of the fair season belonged 
Retaliatory ex- t t j Athenians. Their fleet circumnavi- 

peditions of the 

Athenians. 01. gated Peloponnesus and made an attack on 
4310™' 2 (B C ' Metnone (Modon), an important port, situate 
at the southern point of the Messeniau 
peninsula (vol. i. p. 243), opposite the island group of the 
(Enussse. The attack was frustrated by the presence of 
mind of Brasidas, who rapidly threw himself into the 
threatened place. The Athenians, who had been joined 
by fifty Corcyrsean vessels, sailed along the west coast of 
Peloponnesus, where the wealthy landed proprietors of 
Elis had to suffer for the devastation of Attica. They 
then captured two Corinthian places on the coast of Acar- 
nania ; and succeeded in securing the voluntary accession 
of the island of Cephallenia, w T hich, with its four towns, 
joined the Attic alliance. A squadron of thirty ships had 
simultaneously passed through the Eubcean channel north- 
wards, with the intention of taking revenge upon the 
Locrians. Two of their towns were destroyed, their coasts 
plundered ; and entrenchments were thrown up on the 
little island of Atalante, where an Attic garrison was 
established, to keep a watchful eye on the Locrians. 
Finally, it was resolved to expel the iEginetans in a body 
from their island ; since they, above all, had contributed 
by secret accusations to excite the Peloponnesians against 
Athens. Moreover, Pericles stood in need of more land 
to distribute among the citizens, as a means of quieting 
them ; and, lastly, strategical considerations induced him 
to deem it indispensable to possess himself of the island, 
whose situation, halfway between Peloponnesus and Athens, 
might become either highly advantageous or equally dan- 
gerous to the latter. Accordingly the lands were without 
delay distributed among Attic citizens, and the native 
jEginetans transported with their families to the Pelopon- 
nesian coasts. 

Next to the JSginetans, the Megareans, as the accusers 

Chap. I.J rp he War {q (he ^^ ^ p^^ 63 

of Athens, were most odious to her. To chastise the 
Megareans, Pericles himself set out at the head of an 
expedition composed of 10,000 heavy-armed citizens, 
3,000 resident aliens similarly armed, and a large body 
of light-armed troops. He welcomed the occasion of lead- 
ing into the field the Attic laud army in full force, and at 
the same time of showing the world how ill those fared 
who trusted in the protection of Sparta. The Peloponne- 
sian contingents had long returned into their towns and 
villages; and even the Corinthians remained listless 
lookers-on, while the land on their borders was being 
devastated, root and branch, to such an extent that all 
garden-plantations were destroyed up to the very walls 
of the city. A new popular decree was even at this 
time passed with reference to the Megareans, on the 
motion of Charinus (for Pericles himself preferred to take 
no part in measures of a decidedly invidious character), 
in which an irreconcilable feud was declared for ever 
against Megara. The penalty of death was pronounced 
against any Megarean found on Attic soil ; and the obliga- 
tion imposed upon the Attic generals in their oath of 
office, to invade Megaris twice in every year. By means 
of these measures it was intended at the same time to 
avenge the death of the herald Anthemocritus, who had 
been sent with a message of state to the Megareans, and 
put to death by them. Finally, the decree probably had 
at the same time a strategical object : viz. that of placing 
obstacles in the way of the future campaigns of the 
Peloponnesians, by means of a thorough devastation of the 
frontier territory. 

For a similar purpose yet other measures . 

AtD.6Hl£lH £1111- 

were taken. Careful watch was established a nce with Sitai- 
over the whole country, and extended as 2 es / B °c' ^m™' 
far as Sal amis, whence every movement 
on the coast of Megaris was to be observed, and communi- 
cated by signals to the Pirseeus. It was resolved not to 

64 History of Greece. L b ook I 

put aside the old triremes, as had hitherto been the custoi 
but to reconstruct them as transports, thus making possit 
more effective incursions upon hostile territory ; and it w 
decreed, that, for the defence of the country, the hundr 
best triremes, with their appointed trierarchs, shou 
always remain in readiness for protecting Athens ai 
Attica in case of an attack by sea ; and, for the same pi 
pose, 1,000 talents were set apart as a reserve fund ; wh 
the penalty of death was imposed upon any attempt 
persuade the people to touch this portion of the treasu 
for any but this particular object. By this means Perid 
hoped to induce the republic, as it were, to impose 
restraint upon herself against any reckless proceedir 
even beyond the period of his own power and li 
Finally, diplomatic action was not left untried ; the mc 
distant towns of the allies, which stood in friendly re] 
tions with foreign kingdoms, being employed for the pi 
pose. Abdera, on the south side of Thrace, proved pi 
ticularly useful, where dwelt a rich citizen of the name i 
Nymphodorus, who had married his sister to Sitalces, t 
king of the Odrysse. This Thracian sovereign hi 
advanced the frontiers of his kingdom into the vicini 
of the sea coast ; and was anxious to raise his power ai 
influence by means of Hellenic connections. For t' 
Athenians, on the other hand, it was doubly important, 
strengthen in any way their position in these region 
since Potidsea continued to resist their besieging forc( 
and the towns of Chalcidice remained in a state of revo 
Nymphodorus was named Proxenos of Athens, and J 
actually succeeded in inducing the powerful Thracii 
king to become her ally ; while his mediation, at the sar 
time, brought about a reconciliation with Perdiccas, 
whom Therma, (afterwards Thessalonica) was restore! 
and thus Athens at once regained freedom of action 
the regions containing her most important colonies, ai 
might hope for a speedy termination of the most da 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 65 

gerous, of all the conflicts which had hitherto broken 

Towards the end of the first year of the 
war, feelings of depression could not but Speech of Peri- 
befal the Peloponnesians. On them rested f the citizens 
the responsibility of the outbreak of the o/ 1 ^ 1 ^*"' 
accursed civil war, the traces of which had (b. c. 431.) 
already deeply impressed themselves upon 
the soil of the common country ; their intentions as to the 
overthrow of Pericles had resulted in failure, and their 
whole conduct of the war had proved inefficient. The 
unapproachable position of their adversaries' city, her 
command of the sea, and the energy of her policy, had 
been again made manifest. The accession of Cephellenia 
to the Attic alliance had more fully exposed to the attacks 
of the latter the coasts of Peloponnesus ; the Corinthians 
had to renounce all their hopes in Thrace ; and, although 
their ships had, after the departure of the Athenians, 
obtained certain advantages on the coasts of Acarnania, 
yet in the main their expectations had been bitterly dis- 
appointed. Pericles, on the other hand, after all the per- 
sonal attacks to which he had been subjected, was now 
compensated by being, as the proved statesman, entrusted 
with the honorable duty of pronouncing, in the name of 
the state, the funeral oration on the occasion of the solemn 
burial of the citizens who had fallen in the first year of 
the war. These were only a few in number. Hence Peri- 
cles was the more easily able to depart from the common 
course of such orations, to pass from the dead, whom the 
state already honored by the funeral itself and by the care 
it took of their relicts, to the community of the living, 
and to depict the state itself, on whose behalf the citizens 
had joyously courted death. Nor in truth, could any 

* Methone, Ac, Thuc. ii. 25. — iEgina, ib. 27. Megara, ib. 31. Charinus, 
Plut. (Eeip. ger. praec. C. 15) Sid \apivovrb Kara Meyopewv €Kvpw<r€ \f/rj<l>io pal 
Sitalces, Thuc. ii. 29. 

66 History of Greece. L b <>ok n 

spectacle exceed in grandeur that which we may pictur 
to ourselves, of the Attic citizens assembled in full num 
bers by the tombs of the Ceramicus, and of Pericles i 
their midst addressing them from a lofty scaffolding. A 
yet the unspeakable troubles of the war were fresh in thei 
memories — around them Jay the desolated fields and farm 
in ashes ; a similar calamity must be expected to return i 
the course of a few months ; and during this time of heav 
losses for all they had to renounce not only all thos 
things which add a charm to life, but even the enjoymer 
of their dearest rights and liberties. And yet they liste 
with enthusiasm to the speech of Pericles, as he place 
before their eyes the glories of their city, hailing her a 
example in the eyes of all the Hellenes. With lofty sin 
plicity he extols her constitution, popular in the fuller 
sense, by having for its object the welfare of the entii 
people, and offering equal rights to all the citizens ; but t 
the same time, and in virtue of this its character, adapte 
for raising the best among them to the first positions i 
the state. He lauds the high spiritual advantages offere 
by the city, the liberal love of virtue and wisdom on tli 
part of her sons, their universal sympathy in the cominoi 
weal, their generous hospitality, their temperance an 
vigor, which peace and the love of the Beautiful had n< 
weakened, so that the city of the Athenians must, in an 
event, be an object of well-deserved admiration both f( 
the present and for future ages. 

Such were the points of view from which Pericles di 
played to the citizens the character of their state, ar 
described to them the people of Athens, as it ought to b 
He showed them their better selves, in order to invigora 
them and raise them above themselves, in order to aroui 
them to self-denial, to endurance, and calm resolutio 
Full of a new vital ardor, they returned home from tl 
graves, and with perfect confidence confronted the destini 
awaiting them in the future. And when Archidamus f< 

Chap, i.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 67 

a second time invaded Attica, they had 

already better reconciled themselves to the f Attica. OL 

inevitable necessity. The fields which had 1 " x ![l 1, 1 * i 3 - * 

430, May.) 

been devastated a year before had been left 
untilled ; and thus the Spartans were forced to march 
rapidly through the most fertile lands, in order to find the 
requisite forage in the eastern tracts of the country as far 
down as Cape Sunium. The public confidence in the 
system of Pericles rose higher and higher, and men learnt 
to disregard what no more than a year ago they had 
deemed intolerable. 

Of a sudden a new calamity supervened, trouble beyond 
all human calculation. 

For some time reports had been received of noxious 
diseases, which raged in Egypt and the Asiatic satrapies, 
and had advanced as far as Lemnos. In the West also, 
in Sicily and Italy, the mortality was terrible about the 
same time ; the cause being, as was afterwards thought to 
admit of demonstration, a succession of wet winters, 
during which great quantities of water had collected on, 
and under, the surface of the earth. Thus, it was held, 
the air was tainted and the fruits of the field were ruined. 
Moreover, the annual north winds (the so-called Etesian 
winds), which purify the atmosphere, were said to have 
failed to make their appearance. Thus at the time when 
the war broke out, which broke up the social order of the 
Greek world, the order of nature was said to have been 
equally disturbed ; for it was believed that never had so 
many terrific natural phenomena occurred as since the 
beginning of the war.* 

• Thuc. I. 23. As to the causes of the epidemic, Diod. xii. 58 (Grote 
vi. 207). As to similar pestilences in Italy, Niebuhr, Rom. Hist. (Engl. 
Transl. ii. 278) ; id. Lectures on Ancient Hist. (Engl. Transl. ii. 53). 
The causes of the epidemic given in Diod. xii. 58 refer, not to Attica but 
to the countries where the disease first developed itself. 

68 History of Greece. [Book 

Attica, at other times distinguished above all other 
tricts for salubrity and freshness of air, now for the i 
time underwent an experience of the dangers to whic 
busy sea-port was exposed. For scarcely had navigat 
been opened, when the first cases of death began to ex< 
public fears. These cases occurred in many other pla 
in Greece ; but there they remained exceptional and i 
appeared again. In Attica, on the contrary, the dise 
found an arena in readiness, over which it spread ^ 
unexampled fury. The whole population had very rec( 
ly taken refuge within the walls. A multitude of hun 
beings was closely packed together, who had been torn 
of all their habits of life, who lived in care, excitem( 
and troubles of all kinds, sleeping in the open air, t 
unable to take proper care as to exercise, good food i 
cleanliness. In the Pirseeus which was particularly dei 
ly packed, the waterworks were as yet unfinished ; th 
was no other water but that in the cisterns ; and now 
heat of the sun added its effects. The consequence Vi 
that soon, in the lower town, the epidemic became cc 
pletely dominant ; all other forms of disease disappear* 
all classes, without any distinction of age or sex, fel 
prey to the disease, the symptoms of which were eve 
where the same. It was a typhoid fever, exactly res( 
bling the fevers which made their appearance in can 
and towns in consequence of the deprivations and s 
ferings attendant upon times of war. The pains be£ 
suddenly with a feeling of heat in the head, and inns 
mation of the eyes. Next, the inner organs were seiz< 
the tongue and hollow of the mouth swelled ; a pain 
cough ensued, accompanied by vomitings of bile and b; 
protracted and extremely painful retching. On the si 
appeared an eruption of pustulse and tumors. To i 
external touch the body appeared to retain its ordinj 
temperature ; but within raged so burning a heat, that 1 
sufferers cast off every article of clothing, while so 

Chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 69 

even madly threw themselves into the wells. This internal 
heat destroyed most of the sufferers after seven or nine 
days, without any external falling away of the body 
having taken place. Others survived the first attack, and 
then perished in consequence of diarrhoea and total loss 
of strength. Yet others, while saving their lives, failed 
to regain a sound and healthy state of mind, or survived 
indeed, but with the loss of one or the other of their 

Science was not idle. Hippocrates* himself (vol. ii. p. 
560) inquired into the disease, and, at all events at a 
subsequent stage of the epidemic, gave the Athenians the 
benefit of his experiences, particularly by his attempts to 
purify the atmosphere by fire (an idea said to have sug- 
gested itself to him from observing that the smiths were 
most rarely seized by the disease). But at first all 
remedies obtained from priests and physicians proved 
utterly ineffectual. In dull despair, the people allowed 
the evil to take its course. Such was the violence of the 
contagion, that the sick were deserted by their friends and 
relatives, and that even the usage of burial, generally 
held so sacred among the Greeks, fell into disuse ; the 
dying and the dead lay in masses round the wells, where 
they had sought for a last relief; holy places were for the 
first time polluted by corpses. While other kinds 
of trouble were wont to unite the people, this calamity 
dissolved the bonds of domestic affections as well as of 
public duties. Men became callous as to law and order, 
deaf to the claims of honor and duty, and full of wrath 
against both gods and men. According to the diversity 
of their moral constitution, some gave themselves up to a 
deep gloom, and believed themselves the victims of the 
vengeance of implacable powers ; while the others with 

* For Hippocrates, see Philologns iv. 24. For Sophocles and Asclepias, 
Soph. ed. Bergk, p. xx. The possibility of perfect restoration to health 
is evideuced by the case of Thucydideg. 

70 History of Greece. [ BooK : 

unrestrained impiety gave the rein to every evil impul 
and in the measureless search of pleasure endeavored 
deaden or forget their woes. 

The situation of the Athenians was 
Effects of the tmt ^ a terrible one. While at other tim 


whenever a disease prevailed, it was ci 
tomary to avoid it by a change of air and an escape ii 
the mountains ; now, though the heat was increasing, 
the inhabitants were caged within the walls ; the Pe 
ponnesians marched about the country, in order to desti 
the last remains of rural property ; while within raged 
yet worse enemy, to whom men succumbed like defen 
less victims in the shambles. Trade was entirely at 
standstill ; the prices of necessaries rose ; and the suff 
ings of the poor were redoubled, while the wealthy fou 
no aid in their wealth. 

Party fury deemed no means vile enou 
Naval expedi- to prevent their employment for the ov 

tion of Pericles . - _ * -, *, 

against Epidau- throw oi a hated opponent ; and thus e\ 
rus, Argohs, &c. ^jg new calamity was used as a wear 

01. lxxxvn. 2. J r 

(B. c. 430.) against Pericles. The Spartan party trad 
on the superstition of the multitude, a 
declared the hand of Apollo to be visible in the pes 
lence, — of Apollo, who had not in vain through his ora 
proclaimed himself the ally of Sparta; he was now aidi 
the good cause, and accordingly the whole Peloponne 
had remained untouched by the disease. After all, tl 
said, the ancient guilt of the Alcmseonidse, which rested 
the first man in the state, was not a matter to be trea 
lightly. And even where such views found no adn 
tauce, it was yet murmured that the pestilence was i 
consequence of the war, and the war the fault of Peric 
Thus, it was averred, the same man who had deprived 
citizens of all their liberties, who held lofty orations 
praise of that democracy which he only used for an i 
constitutional despotism of his own, was also the aut] 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 71 

of the present calamity, and was probably well content to 
see the community dwindle under the trials of pestilence 
and war, so that he was enabled more completely to ac- 
complish his ambitious designs. The opponents of Peri- 
cles availed themselves of the opportunity of his depar- 
ture as general with a fleet of 150 triremes to Epidaurus. 
The latter city successfully withstood the attack, but the 
entire coast of Argolis, as far as it was in alliance with 
Sparta, the rich districts of Trcezene and Hermione, were 
laid waste, and PrasisB captured, in order to serve the 
Athenians as a fortified position on the Laconian frontier. 
When the fleet returned home, the Peloponnesians had 
already taken their departure, after a stay in the country 
of forty days. Their own fears had in the end driven 
them away, when they heard of the constant rise in the 
rate of mortality, and saw the dense smoke from the 
funeral pyres hanging over the ill-fated city. The com- 
mand of the fleet was assumed by the two colleagues of 
Pericles in the generalship, Hagnon and Cleopompus ; as 
for himself, he remained in the city, where now the most 
arduous task awaited him. 

He found the situation of affairs utterly 
changed; the intrigues of his adversaries Periciesjustifies 

, ® , & /.ii-. •• himself before 

had been only too successful ; his irresisti- the assembly, 
ble influence over the people was gone. 
Secret jealousy had changed into open contradiction ; nay, 
in defiance of his orders, assemblies of the citizens had 
been held, and the party of his opponents, who now advo- 
cated peace at any price, had carried a motion for the 
despatch of envoys of Sparta to open negotiations. At 
Sparta thifl opportunity was allowed to pass by ; probably 
the fall of Pericles and the ruin of Athens were regarded 
as accomplished facts, and the demands made upon the 
latter were allowed to exceed all measure ; in short, the 
negotiations were protracted, and the public feeling of bit- 
terness now turned against Pericles in the form of open 

72 History of Greece, L B <>oi 

attacks. He was obliged to summon an assembly 
order to defend himself and his statesmanship. This 
did : but instead of fawning upon the people, or disj 
ing any readiness for concession, he confronted them 
a pride and firmness, a severity and self-conscious] 
even surpassing those of his previous bearing. Or 
other occasion had he proved to his fellow-citizens 
superiority and his personal mission as their leader, 
so perfect a simplicity and dignity, and with so perfe 
freedom from all false modesty, as in the hour of extre 
danger ; they were to feel that they were vilifying 
misjudging him, because they were no longer worth 
him. " With what have ye to reproach me ?" he a 
them. " I have remained the same ; it is you who v 
late : not the courageous man is blameable, but the t 
and short-sighted. If it was an error to have reso 
upon war, you are equally at fault with myself; bi 
was your duty to act thus, and not otherwise. It is 
and blindness thoughtlessly to break a happy peace ; 
to make a voluntary sacrifice of such a dominion as y 
is not only disgraceful, but even impossible, without 
posing yourselves to extreme dangers. Why are 
afraid? The sea is yours, and all its coasts and hart 
it is in your own power, if you wish, to extend your 
yet further ; for no king, and no nation of the ei 
dares to meet your triremes. And you are troubled a 
your little few fields and farm-buildings ! True, a new 
unexpected calamity has supervened upon that of 
for which we had to be prepared, and has put your : 
ness to a severe test. Your grief I honor; but your 
of spirit is not justifiable ; nor ought you to allow 
calamity to bend you so low as to make you saci 
shamefully what your fathers honorably acquired ; h 
is it your present duty to bear your domestic mise: 
mindfulness of the flourishing state of the commonwei 
for if you allow the latter to fall away, a state of hi 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 73 

ness is assuredly inconceivable for each one of you, even 
as a private person." 

Once more Pericles, by his power of 
speech, succeeded in raising to his own Pr °s ecutl0n and 

r \ ° condemnation of 

level the community which had become es- Pericles. 01. 
tranged to him. They resolved to break fi^^c. 4300 
off all negotiations, and courageously to 
carry on the war according to his plan ; probably it was 
also about this time that he was again nominated com- 
mander-in-chief for the coming year. Meanwhile, his 
enemies continued active, and used their utmost endeavors 
to prevent the excitement which they had called forth in 
the public mind from passing away without any results. 
The slight success of the naval expeditions operated in 
their favor : from Potidsea the fleet which Pericles had 
resigned to his colleagues returned to Athens in a melan- 
choly plight ; instead of at last taking the city, it had 
merely spread the contagion among the troops engaged in 
the siege ; of 4,000 soldiers, in a few weeks nearly 1,000 
had perished. Accordingly, when Pericles at the expira- 
tion of his year of office had to give a public account of 
his administration (an obligation which in his case was 
generally a mere formality), his adversaries, amongst 
whom Cleon, Simmias, and Lacratidas are mentioned, in- 
stituted a new suit against him. He was accused of 
criminal neglect in the administration of public moneys ; 
the College of the Thirty found the documents of his ac- 
counts not in perfect order ; and accordingly under their 
presidency a jury was summoned, by which Pericles was 
found guilty. In consequence of this verdict, his nomina- 
tion as general was cancelled ; other generals were named ; 
and for the first time after many years Pericles was again 
a simple citizen, deprived of all authority, and even a 
debtor of the state ; for he had been sentenced to a heavy 
fine. He retired entirely to private life. But here new 
sufferings awaited him ; for though full of years and near 

74 History of Greece. [ Bo < 

the close of a life unwearyingly devoted to the public 
he was not to be permitted to find consolation and 
pensation for the fickleness of the multitude i 
family, or in the closest intimacy of faithful compa: 
The pestilence made fearful havoc in this circle, 
eldest son died, without having been reconciled to 1 
ther ; his sister, with whom he was on affectionate t 
was torn away ; and, besides these, a number of men 
who were the instruments of his statesmanship an( 
confidential participators in his administration. A n 
choly feeling of solitude came over the sorely-tried old 
but he remained unshaken and vigorous, and his t€ 
calm and equable ; nor could his enemies prove one 
of weakness against him. But of a sudden the pesti 
seized upon his younger son, whom he had called Pa 
— a Heroic appellative alluding to Athens' sway o 
sea ; and as the father bound the son's temples wit] 
funeral wreath, the paternal heart broke ; and for th< 
time the Athenians saw their great fellow- citizen over 
by the weight of grief, and breaking out into loud wa 
over the evil fortunes of his house. 

Meanwhile the new generals endea 1 
Pencics re- ^ g^ife £ ne helm of the state, but wi 

elected Strate- fo ' 

gus. oi.ixxxvii. success; impotent and irresolute, 
2 9 j ' drifted without design or plan. On < 

occasion when they appeared before 
people, the latter became more fully conscious of th< 
ference between these men and Pericles, whose vig 
will it had accustomed itself to obey ; and thus it car 
pass that the murmurs against Pericles were changed 
a longing after him. The people felt, as it were, fo 
and orphaned ; and the first consolation which his fr 
brought to him after his sufferings was the news of a 
tion in the sentiments of the citizens, of their repen 
and longing after him. For a time he remained in si 
tirement, till the voice of the citizens rose to a highei 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 75 

higher pitch. The vessel of the state was swaying hither 
and thither without safe guidance; and at las. the aged 
statesman was once more prevailed upon to take the helm. 
His honor was most thoroughly satisfied by a public 
declaration ; and the office of general-in-chief was again 
entrusted to him, coupled with an extensive authority. 
He reappeared before the people with solemn and gentle 
mien, free from anger or petty exultation, or ignoble 
desires of revenge; instead of which, he displayed an 
anxiety generously to pardon the instability of the multi- 
tude. As a guarantee of the restoration of mutual con- 
fidence, he demanded the adoption of a resolution whereby 
his own law, according to which only the offspring of a 
legitimate wedlock between citizens should be accounted 
as the sons of citizens (vol. ii. p. 540,) was abolished. It 
was well known that in this matter his thoughts were in 
the first instance of his own house, and that he desired 
the legitimization of a son of his own by Aspasia ; for the 
heaviest calamity which could befal a Hellene was to see 
his house die out. Meanwhile, it may probably be 
assumed, that, after the devastations of the pestilence, 
Pericles thought a change and relaxation of the law in 
question advisable on public grounds.* 

He had the advantage of an unexpected 
event, which had added new fuel, to the Faiiof Potidaea. 
popular hatred of Sparta. Towards the ( B . c. 430-29.) 
end of the summer, a Peloponnesian em- 
bassy was sent to Persia, in order, through the mediation 
of Pharnaces, the satrap in Asia Minor, to induce the 
Great King to offer effective support to the Peloponnesian 
cause. At the head of this embassy stood Aristeus (p. 
16), to whose exertions, undertaken with the primary 
object of saving PotidaBa, its despatch was doubtless princi- 
pally due ; for the Corinthians themselves were so closely 

* See Note V. Appendix. 

76 History of Greece. [ Bo ° 

blockaded by Phormio, that their ships could pass ne 
in nor out. Aristeus was officially accompanied by 1 
Spartans and one Tegeate. On the road it was 
intention to induce Sitalces, the most powerful barb* 
prince next to the Great King, to secede from the 1 
nian alliance ; instead of which the Athenians, thr 
Sadocus, the son of Sitalces, and an honorary citizei 
Athens, contrived to procure the capture of the eml 
when it was about to cross the Hellespont. The pris< 
were delivered into the hands of the Atheniaus, 
brought to Athens. They were received with an ui 
trollable outburst of rage by the citizens ; and in pai 
lar the hatred of Aristeus — the most dangerous ol 
Feloponnesians and the author of the revolt of Pot 
— caused them to be hurried to execution untried, oi 
very day of their arrival. The Lacedaemonians recogi 
in this terrible event the curse of Talthybius, who 
still angry with them because they had once put to c 
the envoys of King Darius. Xerxes had disdaine 
take vengeance for it upon the two heralds which 
been delivered up to him - y they had returned uninj 
and now upon their sons, Nicolaus and Aneristus 
Nemesis was fulfilled. Although this measure might 
an excuse in the national treason involved in the pui 
of the embassy, and still more in a series of similar 
of violence on the part of Sparta, it is scarcely ere 
that it could have been carried out after the restor; 
of the authority of Pericles. But henceforth it seem< 
if all hopes of peace were for ever at an end ; and 
adherents of Pericles were proportionately successful i 
they urged the most energetic prosecution of the war. 
the following winter, Potidsea had at last to capiti: 
The courage of her brave citizens had been broken ty 
extremity of famine, after they had held out for ] 
than two years : even the besiegers, in this inclei 
season of the year, found themselves in so intolerat 

Chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 77 

plight, that, in order to make an end of the matter, they, 
to the great annoyance of the Athenians, allowed the 
citizens to depart unhurt. The city was peopled afresh 
with Attic settlers. A great advantage had been obtained, 
but at a heavy price. The allies had been made aware 
of the possibility of a successful resistance ; and it was 
out of the question that even the Attic finances could sup- 
port many sieges of the kind.* 

In the spring of the third year of the war 

,, -p. ■. . . ■, . . Third summer 

the Jreloponnesians evinced no anxiety to f the war. 01. 
pav another visit to Attica, devastated as it lxx *T"' 3 ~ 4 * ( B# 

r J . c. 429.) 

was by war and pestilence ; instead of 
which they appeared under Archidamus before Platsese ; 
while at the same time an Attic fleet sailed to Thrace, 
where the tribes above Potidsea continued in a state of re- 
volt, and where Olynthus in particular had remained a 
dangerous fortified position. In the neighborhood of 
Olynthus lay Spartolus, before the walls of which a battle 
was fought, in which the Athenians met with considerable 

A third theatre of war was Acarnania, 

. t t -I ..! . Acarnania. 

a country regarded by either party as a Naval battles in 
favorable and important arena on which to thc s ulf of c °- 

t i i «••■!• rinth. 

carry out its policy ; a land ot great fertility, 
and abounding in strongholds, but devoid of any advanced 
municipal life, and of any firm cohesion and obedience to 
one common headship. Acarnania was composed of a 
group of independent communities, divided in their sym- 
pathies between Sparta and Athens, although the senti- 
ments of the majority were Attic. The impulse to war in 
this instance proceeded from Ambracia, the most enter- 
prising of all the daughter-cities of Corinth. Ambracia 
saw in the political situation a favorable opportunity for 

* Curse of Talthybius : Herod, vii. 134. Thuc. ii. 67— Fall of Potidsea, 
ib., 70. The garrison departed uninjured (after rives cat dAA^Awv eyeyevi/ro.p 

78 History of Greece. [Booi 

subjecting to herself the territory of her neighbors, 
Acarnanians. For this purpose the Ambraciotes comb 
with the tribes of Epirus, and marched with a pow< 
force down the valley of the Achelous against Stratus 
capital of the Acarnanians; while, according to a pn 
ccrted plan, the Peloponnesians supported the underta 
by land and sea ; for it was hoped not only to tear A 
nania out of the Athenian alliance, but also to captur< 
islands of Cephallenia and Zacynthus, and even Nau 
tus, and thus once more to free the gulf of Corinth, 
this purpose, one thousand heavy-armed troops from Sp; 
under the admiral Cnemus, had united with the An 
ciotes for an assault upon Stratus. But this assault resi 
in a failure, on account of the want of efficient guid* 
and because of the senseless lust of booty on the par 
the northern allies ; although Phormio found himseli 
able to come to the rescue of the city, for a Corintho-f 
onian fleet of thirty-seven ships was approaching, 
endeavored to cross the gulf unobserved. Not only 
this endeavor frustrated by the sagacity and vigilanc 
Phormio, but he even made an unexpected attack upoi 
enemy's fleet in the open sea, and displayed so great 
periority of naval tactics, that, without any loss 01 
own side, he involved the hostile ships, whose nui 
doubled those of his own, in confusion, captured tv 
triremes, and carried off a large number of captives 
was the most brilliant victory which the Athenians 
achieved in the course of the war. 

But Phormio was to gain no lasting result from his 
tory; for the Lacedsernonians, indignant at the dc 
frustration of their plans, speedily assembled a new 
of seventy-seven ships ; while on the other hand the tw 
additional triremes urgently demanded by Phormio fj 
to reach him, because the Athenians were deluded by 
anticipations into sending them in the first instanc 
Crete, for the purpose of capturing Cydonia (vol. ii. p. 5 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 79 

This undertaking resulted in utter failure ; in addition to 
which the north winds beset the squadron, and thus caused 
the waste of precious time. For, meanwhile, Phormio was 
in a situation of extreme difficulty, the hostile fleet not 
only nearly quadrupling his own in numbers, but on this 
occasion being also commanded by sagacious leaders. For 
Cnemus was accompanied by Brasidas (p. 62), who con- 
trived very skilfully to use his numerical superiority. In 
order to avoid a conflict on the open sea, he, by means of 
a pretended attack upon Naupactus, placed the Attic tri- 
remes in a position close by the shore, where, deprived as 
they were of freedom of movement, they were suddenly 
surprised and nine of them cut off, while the remaining 
eleven effected their escape to Naupactus. However, the 
nine triremes were in part saved by the marvellous courage 
of the Messenians, who followed the Athenians by land, 
and notwithstanding the weight of their armor stepped 
into the water, climbed up the ships, and defended them. 
The vessels which had made good their escape directed a 
new and resolute attack from the harbor upon their pur- 
suers, and were so successful, that they not only completely 
put to flight the pursuing division of the hostile fleet, but 
also recaptured their own ships, took many of the enemy's, 
and forced the whole Peloponnesian fleet to retire into their 
harbor of Panorraus. Soon afterwards, the squadron 
which had been delayed at Crete also made its appear- 
ance; and the summer season being now nearly at an end, 
all the undertakings of the Peloponnesians both by land 
and by sea had been utterly frustrated, the victorious power 
of the Attic ships had admirably asserted itself, and, not- 
withstanding all the exertions of the enemy, the Corinthian 
gulf was, more securely than ever before, under the do- 
minion of the Athenians.* 
[ In all these conflicts in the eastern and western waters 

* Cydonia : Thuc. ii. 88.— Conflicts in the bay : ib. 80 f. 

80 History of Greece. I^ok 

Pericles had taken no personal part, nor was he ever 
home, in Athens, what he once had been. The unwise 
pedition against Cydonia proves that things might be ( 
in distinct contravention of his public policy. But a 
riclean guidance of public affairs needed perfect healtl 
body and mind ; and his vigor was broken and his i 
power affected. The disease continued to rage in Ath 
and after his house and the circle of his friends had wa 
away under its attacks, it seized upon himself. Not 
denly did it prostrate him, but like a secret poiso: 
slowly consumed the sap of his life, and at last prostr 
him on a bed of sickness. Even the lofty power oi 
will had been broken ; and, as if to show his friend 
what an end the great Pericles had come, he pointed oi 
them the amulet which superstitious women had r. 
round his neck as a protecting charm. There he lay, 
rounded by the best among his fellow-citizens, who, 
glances bespeaking their inconsolable grief, asked of 
another what was to become of Athens, when she had 
Pericles. When they, believing him to have already 
his consciousness, spoke of his glorious deeds and w( 
thus as it were paying a tribute to his memory, he h 
himself once more on his bed, and demanded why 
had passed over what was best of all : that no Athe 
had on his account been forced to wear the garb of mc 
ing. Thus it was not his lofty intellect, not his comm 
ing eloquence, not his success as a general, which he p] 
most highly among his qualities, but his moderatior 
self-command, and calm prudence; and he was able tc 
of himself with truth, that even the most venomous att 
against his person had never tempted him in a momei 
anger to wreak his vengeance on his enemies. 

The war had lasted for two years an< 
cies. oi. lxxxvii. months, when Pericles died. He was bi 
4. (b.c. 429, Au- i n th e outer Ceramicus, to the right o1 

tumn.) . . . ° 

main road leading to the ports, in the \ 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 81 

ity of the vast resting-place of the Athenians who had 
fallen in the service of their country. His personal aspect 
was preserved to posterity in excellent representations ; the 
best being by the hand of Cresilas, who p roved himself a 
true artist by representing a great man in accordance with 
actual life, and yet conveying his spiritual individuality 
more clearly than his bodily features would have them- 
selves been able to express it. The depth of moral pur- 
pose, the indomitable courage of the statesman and com- 
mander, and the royal calm of the sage, are unmistakably 
brought before us even in the copy which has come down 
to us ; while on the delicately-formed lips a trace seems to 
linger of the beauties of the eloquence which once flowed 
from them.* 

Of Pericles it cannot be asserted, that he 
established entirely new points of view for Review of the 

J l administration 

the administration of the Attic state ; for he of Pericles. 
was not, like other statesmen of genius, an 
innovator desirous of marking out new tracks for the pro- 
gress of the nation ; instead of which he in all essential 
points based his policy on the previous history of the city, 
while all his endeavors were directed towards preserving 
Athens great on the foundations which he found already 
in existence, towards establishing her upon them, and to- 
wards placing her before the world in the most dignified 
aspect. In adding his efforts to free the civic community 
more and more from the influence of privileged classes, 
aud to advance the participation of all the citizens of the 
state in public affairs, Pericles only followed in the track 
of Solon and Clisthenes, to whom the republic owed her 
distinctive constitution. Again, the view from which he 
proceeded, that on the sea would be decided the question 
as to which was to be the ruling state in Greece, and his 

*As to Cresilas, see Bergk, Z.f.Alt. 1845, p. 962; and Brunn ubisupr. 
i. 262, Arch. Ztg. 1860, p. 40. Conze, 1868, p. 1 f. 


82 History of Greece. [ b °ok 

demand upon the Athenians to sacrifice their territory- 
defend their city as if it had been an island, merely re 
duced the ideas of Themistocles, whose penetration 
first discovered the real foundations of Attic dominion, 
the same time, Pericles differed vastly from Themisto 
in the choice of means and in the many-sidedness of 
statesmanship. For in his moral conception of his cal 
he was the most faithful successor of Aristides; and 
great historian of his times, who is at the same time 
sternest and the most truthful judge of morality, has fo 
himself able to acquit Pericles of every reproach of sell 
ness. In the next place, he sought the real greatness 
Athens not in her walls and docks, but in the eminent 
tellectual culture of his fellow-citizens. Therefore, 
juaking Athens the home of all the higher tendencies 
generous culture, and securing an undisputed pre-emim 
in this field to his native city, he recurred to the idea* 
Solon, which the Pisistratidse had subsequently purs 
with so praiseworthy a zeal. Nor was he loth to ac 
from other states what deserved imitation ; as, e. g., in 
foundation of cities beyond the sea, he took for his ni< 
the political intelligence of Corinth. In short, the gr 
ness of Pericles essentially consists in his uniting in \ 
self all the great and productive ideas of earlier tim< 
ideas refined and regulated by him, and made to form 
grand system ; and the greatness of Athens, for which 
worked to the last, without allowing either good or 
fortune to divert him from the pursuit, was no great 
imagined by him, no ideal formed out of philoso] 
theories, but the goal demanded by the past, a goal wl 
Athens must reach, or prove untrue to herself and her 
sion in history. None will care to assert, that he purs 
his task in life wholly without thoughts of self; but no 
craving, no love of money, or of personal ease, polli 
his public life ; and in the midst of a community distra 
by parties he never allowed himself to be tempted tc 

Chap. L] The War to the Death of Pericles. 33 

abuse of power. And if he sought for dominion, that do- 
minion was in the highest degree both blameless and his 
due ; for whoever in mental power and judgment stands as 
superior to his fellow-citizens as Pericles stood is in truth 
not only justified in employing his royal gifts for the 
guidance of his fellow-citizens, but it is his duty thus to 
employ them. It was his duty to rule, as long as he could 
rule without violating the constitution; and his sway was 
not based on the humiliation of the citizens before him, 
but on their rising to his level, and being by him continu- 
ally guided in the pursuit of the highest objects of life. 
He might hope that, in proportion as his proved itself the 
true policy in the time of the greatest dangers, the Athe- 
nians would the more willingly give themselves up to him ; 
for they could not but recognize the necessity of an undi- 
vided guidance of public affairs by one hand. Athens had 
become the centre of an empire. The government of a 
dominion like this could not without the greatest disad- 
vantages and dangers be left to an assembly of citizens, 
unable in their collective capacity to form a correct judg- 
ment of the mass of political complications. After, then, 
the most difficult task had been accomplished, viz., the 
union of a large body of Hellenic population in one col- 
lective state, in which even the old distinctions of tribes 
became equalized, these results could only be secured to 
the Athenians by extraordinary means, *. e , by the guid- 
ance of city and state under one vigorous will, supported 
by the confidence of the civic community. But, it is asked, 
how could a rule of this kind be permanently maintained ? 
how could it be assumed by another after the death of Pe- 
ricles? Assuredly the latter had taken thought of this 
emergency for many years before his end ; and among the 
intimate friends who surrounded him until he was left de- 
solate by the pestilence, there w 7 ere, doubtless, men who 
appeared to him adapted to carry on his work. But even 
if he could in no way calculate upon the permanency of 

Si History of Greece. [£<*>* 

the greatness of Athens, was this to prevent him fron 
pending the fulness of his powers upon the realizatioi 
the end which he proposed to himself? Rather, it was 
peratively necessary with determined energy to employ 
present, which would nevermore return under the s 
conditions. He was aware that the true greatness o: 
epoch is not dependent on the time of its endurance 
knew that the realization of the loftiest ideal of a H 
nic community in Athens would be a possession for ev( 
his city and people. His endeavor was an effort of ] 
daring, but it was at the same time supported by the d 
est reflection ; and accordingly, notwithstanding the 
ness of his own end, the work of his life was crowned 
immortal success. This success, indeed, did not at i 
become evident ; for never, probably, was a great states 
more unjustly judged, and even by the best of his pe 
more seriously misunderstood than was Pericles, 
voices of his contemporaries show how reluctantly 
greatness was acknowledged, and how men sought to t 
draw themselves from the burdensome feeling of unqual 
admiration, by means of malicious criticisms and ca^ 
nies. In the excited times which preceded the war, an 
partial estimate of his services was impossible. All pa 
were against him, and detraction of his character 
the one thing in which aristocrats and democrats agj 
While, however, in other cases, after the death of emi 
men, a true estimate is usually formed, this was not 
case in regard to Pericles. For times of misfortune c 
on, for which he was held responsible ; abuses and < 
appeared in public life which were regarded as cc 
quences of his policy ; there followed leaders of the citi 
with whom he was classed without seeing the chasm vt. 
lay between him and the later demagogues. In this 
has been misunderstood by historians and philosopl 
even by Plato and Aristotle. 
So much the more thankful are we to the one man 

Chap. I.] The War to the Death of Pericles. 85 

makes it possible for us, in spite of all distortions, to dis- 
cern again the original features of the picture ; so much 
the more delightful is the task of following with admira- 
tion, from the hand of Thucydides, all the traces which 
that mighty spirit impressed upon the history of his people.* 

* As to the judgments passed on Pericles by his contemporaries, and 
by men of subsequent generations, cf. Sauppe, Quellen Plvt. im Leben d. 
Perikl. p. 6., Cf. Riihl, Quellen d.plut. PerikL in Jahrb.f. Phil. 1, g 68, 
p. 657. 



During the whole course of the war no more fatal e 
happened than the Attic pestilence, and the death of 
ricles which it superinduced. For, although the posi 
of Athens towards foreign states remained for a time 
same, yet the city had at home undergone essei 

The flower of the citizens had peris] 
civic 'bod mthe manv families, in which ancient discij; 
and usage had maintained themselves, 
died out; and thus the living connection with the ag< 
Aristides and Cimon had come to an end. The demo 
zation occasioned by the pestilence was not merely a { 
ing effect ; for the war, w r hich continued to burn i 
increasing vehemence, and which not only severed the 
tion of the Hellenes into two irreconcilably hostile cai 
but also broke up every single community into par 
could have no other influence than that of everywhere 
citing the passions and unchaining selfish impulses, 
moral and religious bonds which had united the Greet 
members of one body and as citizens of a common c< 
try had been broken, and, together with them, the vir 
based upon Hellenic patriotism had gradually become 
solcte. Hence the general complaints as to the demc 
ized younger generation and the degenerate sons of 
leading citizens of the state. Pericles was not the ( 
father who had to undergo an experience of this kin< 
his own house : the descendants of Themistocles, Aristi 
and Thucydides the son of Mclesias offered other 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 87 

examples of the decay of morality; and, similarly, the 
sons of the great sculptor Polyclitus, who had emigrated 
to Athens. The wealth which it had taken their ancestors 
a long time to collect was wasted in frivolous pleasures ; 
and thus the noblest families of the city fell into decay and 
dishonor. One of these was the illustrious house in which 
the office of the heralds and torch-bearers in the Eleusi- 
nian mysteries was hereditary, to which belonged Callias, 
the haughty opponent of the Pisistratidae (vol. i. p. 379), 
whose grandson, Callias, fought at Marathon, and went as 
ambassador to Susa ; his successor was Hipponicus (vol. ii« 
p. 507), whose ceremony held together the increasing wealth 
of the house, who commanded at Tanagra in the year 426, 
and who was the last to uphold the honor of the family. 
For his son, the third Callias, soon after the death of Pe- 
ricles commenced an utterly spendthrift life in his father's 
house, and in a brief space of time wasted his inheritance 
upon courtesans, Sophists, and worthless parasites ; so that 
be, the bearer of the most sacred priestly offices, could be 
held up on the comic stage as a type of degenerate Athens.* 
Moreover, in consequence of the great loss of population 
occasioned by the pestilence, the strictness previously ob- 
served in reference to the civic franchise of Attica had 
been relaxed. Pericles had himself occasioned the first 
instance of such a relaxation (p. 75), and the result was 
that a multitude of foreign elements invaded the civic com- 
munity, while family life was shaken more and more by 
the admittance of many illegitimate children. Further- 
more, the troubles of war and sickness had caused the 
gymnastic exercises to fall into disuse, which had so 
largely contributed to maintain the young men in a vigo- 

* With regard to the frequent instances of degenerate sons, cf. Plat. 
Protag. pp. 139 (with Sauppe's note) and 328 ; Beigk, Bel. Com. Att. 351 ; 
Plat. Laches (ed. Jahn), pp. xxii. xxviii. Concerning Callias, see above, 
vol. II. p. 410; Stein ad Herod, vi. 121. Generally as to the 4>op& iv roli 
yeveatv, Arist. Bhet. ii. 15. 

88 History of Greece. C BooK 

rous state of bodily and mental health. The public p 
tising-groiinds outside the gates became more and n 
desolate and empty, while the market-place was den 
thronged from morning to evening by a babbling crc 
For many citizens, whom the war had torn from their o 
nary occupations, had accustomed themselves to an 
and frivolous town life ; and the relations between t< 
and country had undergone an entire change. 

The Athenians of previous generations loved the air 
life of the country ; and those who were able to suit t 
inclinations felt more at ease and at home in the coun 
on their little country-seats, than within the city w; 
For this reason also the rural dwellings were far n 
comfortable and pleasant than the houses in town ; 
many citizens scarcely came into the city even on the 
tivals. Now, all this had changed. The Athenians 
the lands destroyed, which they had inherited from tl 
fathers, and improved from year to year by prudent n 
agement, together with all their walks and other resou 
of comfort and recreation. The proprietors would n< 
again take pleasure in their ancient usages and enjoym< 
of life ; for how was it possible to recover confidence in 
future ? Many husbandmen never again returned to 
plough, but remained in the city ; where, in the consl 
succession of different pleasures, and in the excitement 
market aud party life, they endeavored to forget the une 
conditions of their existence. Thus, a discontented 
turbulent multitude was formed in Athens — a kind of n 
such as had been unknown to Athens in her earlier d; 
The love of work, which Pericles was still able to pr 
as one of the most eminent virtues of his fellow-citiz 
grew weak; and the personal interest in public affg 
which was at once the right and the duty of every citi: 
changed, in the unhealthy atmosphere of the blocka 
city, where all most important undertakings had sudde 
come to a standstill, into an over-busy and over-curi 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 89 

idleness, and an indolent love of babbling, which all the 
enemies of the democracy were soon able to regard as a 
characteristic of an Attic citizen. 

Thus, in a short space of time, the civic community of 
Athens became an unsteady multitude which allowed it- 
self to be swayed by uncertain feelings, a multitude which 
vacillated between arrogance and cowardice, between infi- 
delity and superstitious excitement. The principles of the 
older citizens, which had opposed a vigorous resistance to 
the free-thinking of the Sophists (vol. ii. p. 480), had lost 
their power ; and thus it came to pass, that the citizens 
fell away with irresistible rapidity from the religion of 
their fathers, and gave themselves up to the love of doubt 
and mockery, and to contempt of the gods. On the other 
hand, the feeling of the existing spiritual void induced 
men once more to seek consolation from religion ; and in 
this case the public institutions of divine worship were con- 
sidered insufficient, and refuge was taken in abnormal 
usages pretending to beneficial effects, sought out from for- 
gotten traditions, or introduced from abroad ; and associa- 
tions for the purpose of private mysteries were formed, in 
which new modes of purification and ceremonies were em- 
ployed for the tranquil ization of the mind. Accordingly, 
fanatical enthusiasts, soothsayers, and wandering oracle- 
mongers acquired a very important influence. 

The moral change which had thus befallen 
the Attic community had, it is true, even Changes in the 

!• i i. n ' n t-» • t *n i leadership of 

during the lifetime of Pericles, manifested the people, 
itself by means of sufficiently clear premoni- 
tory signs ; but Pericles had, notwithstanding, up to the 
days of his last illness, remained thecentre of the state ; 
the people had again and again returned to him, and by 
subordinating themselves to the personal authority of Pe- 
ricles had succeeded in recovering the demeanor which be- 
fitted them. But now the voice was hushed, which had 
been able to sway the unruly citizens, even against their 

90 History of Greece. [ BoOB 

will. No other authority was in existence — no aristocr 
no official class, no board of experienced statesmen- 
thing, in fact, to which the citizens might have lookec 
guidance and control. The multitude had recovered a 
lute independence, and in proportion as, in the intei 
readiness of speech and sophistic versatility had sprea 
Athens, the number had increased of those who now 
themselves forward as popular speakers and leaders, 
as, among all these, none was capable of leading the ] 
titude after the fashion of Pericles, another methoc 
leading the people, another kind of demagogy, sprung 
existence. Pericles stood above the multitude. He r 
by arousing the noble and active impulses in the mind 
the citizens, who by the earnestness marking his treatr 
of them, and by the moral demands which he made I] 
them, were raised above their own level ; they , 
ashamed to give voice in his hearing to their weakn 
and low cravings. His successors were obliged to a< 
other means ; in order to acquire influence, they took 
vantage not so much of the strong as of the weak p< 
in the character of the citizens, and achieved popuh 
by flattering their inclinations, and endeavoring to sa 
the cravings of their baser nature. Thus, the demagog 
who had formerly been the leaders and solemn counse 
of the people, now became its servants and flatterers. . 
as in this system of demagogy not a small number m 
emulate one another, each had rapidly to give way to 
successor; a quick change of influential personages 
sued ; whereby, at the same time, a consistent conduc 
public affairs according to definite political principle! 
action was rendered impossible. 

This new phase of affairs is intimately connected 
another momentous change. 

The Attic aristocracy had indeed been long overthi 
as a power in the state ; nor was the nobility any long( 
possession of any privileges, so far as the institutions 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nlclas. 91 

civil society were concerned. At the same time, it cannot 
be said that the aristocracy had lost all actual influence 
upon public life ; and it is only necessary to review the 
names of the men who during the fifth century b. c. most 
brilliantly distinguished themselves in art and science, both 
at Athens and elsewhere — such men as Heraclitus, Anaxa- 
goras, and Parmenides, Pindar and ^Eschylus, Herodotus 
and Thucydides — in order to attain to a conviction, that 
the ancient families of the nation still continued especially 
productive of eminent talents, and that hereditary wealth, 
as well as the superior degree of culture and intellectual 
aspirations which prevailed in civic families of repute, still 
continued to exercise their effects in the happy development 
of innate gifts, and to produce individualities prominently 
distinguished among their contemporaries. The statesmen 
who had succeeded one another in the guidance of public 
affairs at Athens equally belonged to ancient families; nor 
was Pericles himself ever false to his aristocratic birth and 
instincts, although he knew how to base his right of no- 
bility upon other claims than that of descent. 

Henceforth, all this was changed. Now, 
for the first time, men belonging to the ™ e ncw cIaS3 

00 01 demagogues. 

lower class of citizens thrust themselves for- 
ward to play a part in politics, — men of the trading and 
artisan class, the culture and wealth of which had so vigor- 
ously increased at Athens. Yet the ancient prejudices 
were by no means removed on this account ; and the ad- 
herents of ancient usage continued to take offence, when 
they saw men who pursued the occupation of an ordinary 
citizen, whose youth had been passed in workshops, and 
who were devoid of a liberal training in the music and 
gymnastic arts, taking the lead in the public assemblies, 
and aspiring to fill influential offices of state. These men, 
for their part, were placed in an advantageous position as 
against the aristocrats, since it was infinitely more easy for 
them to deal with the multitude, and to arrive at an under- 

92 History of Greece. [Book 

standing with it ; they stood far nearer to the comi 
crowd, and had no intention of raising it above its o 
nary views and feelings: the multitude accordingly 
them with confidence, and was ready to make excuses 
them, as it delighted in leaders who made no pretence 
being superior to the great body of the citizens, and i 
awakened no painful feeling of inferiority, such as 1 
which was natural in the presence of a Pericles, i 
since the civic community had itself in the course of 
war undergone an essential change, and since the lea< 
issuing forth from that body were anxious to accommo( 
themselves to its habits and humors, the mode of deai 
with public affairs necessarily underwent a simultane 
change. The civic assemblies grew larger, louder, and 
orderly ; the business was carried on after a more pass 
ate and tumultuous fashion, because the guidance of a 
perior spirit was absent, and because the entire multit 
accordingly took a more direct part in the proceed! 
and unhesitatingly displayed its momentary feelings,- 
favor and disfavor, its satisfaction and its impatience, 
the same time, all the bad sides of Attic constitutional 
so openly manifested themselves, that the more reflec 
citizens, who considered moderation and calm the first 
quisites for political life, were seized with disgust at pu 
affairs, and that both the name and the reality of de 
cracy fell into contempt. The citizens of superior cull 
retired, and refrained from participation in the assemb 
because their principles prevented them from applying 
only effective means of success. Thus the new demagog 
attained to a still more complete command of the field, 
the common wealth was deprived of the services of m 
excellent citizens. 

The new demagogues, however, were 
no longer miii- equally useful for every kind of public 
tary command- v j ce> p or> although their talents seci 

to them a successful command of the 

Chap, ii.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 93 

tor's tribune, yet they were, as a rule, neither inclined nor 
qualified for military commands. For the latter, a differ 
ent training and different qualities were requisite. More 
over, most of them shrank from the personal dangers of 
the office, from the responsibility and the various sacrifices 
which were connected with it, without any hope at the 
same time offering itself of corresponding advantages, 
Thus one of the most important changes which occurred 
at this time consisted in the separation of the office of 
general from the position of popular leader. Hitherto, it 
had been impossible to conceive of a statesman who had 
not at the same time proved himself in the field ; and Pe- 
ricles had presented the illustrious type of a leader power- 
ful in w r ord and in deed, by his speech and by his sword, 
on the fleet and on the Pnyx. Henceforth, even men who 
had won no honors in war, and who had never risked their 
life for the state, were permitted to address the people upon 
the conduct of wars, and to subject to their criticism, and 
call to account, the men who were undergoing deprivations 
and dangers abroad. Moreover, the generals were obliged 
to maintain strict discipline, and thus made themselves un- 
popular among a community, which was endeavoring more 
and more to escape all forms of discipline and subordina- 
tion, particularly as in the course of the war even the 
citizens of the lowest property-class, the Thetes (vol. i. p. 
354), served as heavy-armed soldiers. Thus a multiplicity 
of disputes was inevitable, and the demagogues were gene- 
rally ready to take part against the generals. Hence the 
separation of the two most influential of all public posi- 
tions necessarily resulted in a state of hostility between the 
occupants of either ; and this adverse relation between the 
generals and demagogues became the germ of the greatest 
misfortunes for Athens. The office of general frequently 
became a post of martyrdom; and the bravest men felt 
that the prospect of being called to account as to their 
campaigns by cowardly demagogues, before a capricious 

94 History of Greece. L Bo ° l 

multitude, disturbed the straightforward joyousness of 1 

activity, and threw obstacles in the way of their succe 

The Athenians had no lack of pr< 

The Athenian military commanders. Phormio, the so 

generals : Phor- . ,._ . _ „ _. 

mio. Asopius, was still in the full vigor oj 

age, who had taken an important part ir 
Samian war, by the side of Pericles, commanded at 
siege of Potidsea, and latterly gained victories in the 
of Crisa, which belong to the most brilliant successe 
Attic military history. He was a soldier of the an< 
stamp, short of speech, resolute and severe, a mode 
temperance and blamelessness of life. And yet he too 
already been subjected to a persecution, resulting in 
condemnation by the popular tribunal to a fine of 10 
drachms, which he, whose unselfishness had left him a 
man, was unable to pay. In consequence, he was stri] 
of all public honors, and retired into the country. \\ 
the Acarnanians applied for aid against the allies of 
rinth, and requested that the celebrated Phormio migl 
placed in command of the Attic auxiliaries, he refuse 
accept the office, until the citizens absolved him from 
fine, and gave him full satisfaction for the heavy in 
inflicted upon his honor. Like Phormio, the other emi 
commanders, who with or after him led the Attic trc 
Lamachus, Laches, Charooades, Pythodorus, Paches, 
Demosthenes, had, almost without exception, to 
through similar conflicts w T ith the popular orators.* 

In the matter of military commands. 

The demagogues ]ace f p ericles could be to ft certa ; n 

as orators j * 

tent filled by men of the ancient schoo' 
war ; although in the field also the consistent executioi 
definite strategical plans ceased, being in fact only poss 

* As to the remission of fines, see Bceckh, P. E. vol. ii. p. 125 (E. 
As to the position of the aux^pouo; (p. 92, infra), cf. Thuc. iii. 43. 
the rd a/AciVco Ae-yo^res have to pursue crooked courses. 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 95 

as long as the office of commander-in-chief was for a period 
of several years entrusted to one man. On the orators' 
tribune the contrast was more striking. 
Here the first prominent successor of Pericles Eucrates. 
was a certain Eucrates, a rude and unedu- 
cated man, who was ridiculed on the comic stage as the 
u boar " or " bear of Melite " (the name of the district to 
which he belonged), a dealer in tow and mill-owner, who 
only for a short space of time took the lead in the popular 
assembly. His place was taken by Lysicles, 
who had acquired wealth by the cattle-trade. Lysicles. 
That Lysicles was no ordinary man is evi- 
dent from the circumstance that Aspasia married him after 
the death of Pericles ; and his intercourse with her is raid 
to have first made him an eminent speaker. He also ap- 
pears to have wished to re-unite the military command to 
the leadership of the people, after the fashion of Pericles ; 
for in the year after the death of the latter he was general 
in Caria, where he fell. It was not until 
after Lysicles, that the demagogues attained Cieon. 
to power who had first made themselves a 
name by their opposition against Pericles, and, among 
them, Cleon was the first who was able to maintain his 
authority for a longer period of time ; so that it is in his 
proceedings during the ensuing years of the war that the 
whole character of the new demagogy first thoroughly 
manifests itsel£* 

* For Eucrates and Lysicles, cf. Aristoph. Eq. v. 131, Schol. As to 
the connection between Aspasia and Lysicles, cf. Plut. Pericl. 24 ; Har- 
pocr. s. v. 'A<77r. Are we to assume a connection between them already 
before the death of Pericles? Otherwise the anecdote of her influence as 
an instructress must be rejected. The entire story of this connection was, 
according to Cobet, Prosopogr. Xenoph. p. 81, an invention of iEschines 
(as to whose dialogue, Aspasia, cf. K. Fr. Hermann, de jEscTi. Socr. p. 
16 f.) ; according to Sauppe (Quellen PL p. 13), an invention of thecomio 

96 History of Greece. [ BoOB 

Of course, the change which took p 

circii riSt0CratiC ' m the conduct of P ublic affair s was 
effected without incurring opposition 

Athens itself. As yet, some of the distinctions befrv 

the different classes of society remained uneffaced. M 

felt themselves by their birth, wealth, and superior re 

ment of culture placed in a necessary opposition ag£ 

the multitude, which was well pleased to give itself u] 

its new leaders ; and the religious institutions, as we] 

military service, contributed to keep alive aristocratic 

dencies in the midst of the perfected democracy. For 

only did all the most sacred priesthoods of the state rer 

a hereditary privilege of certain families, upon whom 

conferred a special distinction before the rest; but i 

except daughters and sons of noble and wealthy he 

were chosen to perform those religious functions, the 

formers of which annually changed (as, e. g.> the offic 

the Arrephori, who administered the worship of the 

goddess on the citadel, under the superintendence of 

priestess, as it were as the representatives of the e] 

community; and the choral dance of the Oschophor 

vine-bearers, who were to call to mind the Attic y 

saved by Theseus from Crete). To represent the 

abroad, again, men of noble family continued to be ch( 

Finally, while ordinary military service had lost in est 

tion, cavalry service had gained in importance. 

horsemen were the only standing body of troops in £ ih 

in consequence of the very method after which they 

levied, they formed an association, wherein an aristoc: 

spirit of class could not fail to be kept alive. The r 

bers of the Attic cavalry had been raised to 1,000 b( 

the war ; and there are good grounds for assuming 

Pericles favored and encouraged this body of tr 

(which he caused to be represented in stone on the Pai 

non in so splendid a style), in order to obtain in the 

counterbalance against the multitude. 

Chap, ii.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 97 

The resistance which these aristocratic 
circles opposed to the democracy was of a aristocrats? 118 
twofold character : for, in the first instance, 
there yet existed in the noble families enemies on principle 
of the constitution, who believed the salvation of the state 
to be impossible, except on condition of a complete return 
to the past. These either withdrew in deep discontent 
from all participation in public affairs, or endeavored to 
establish their political principles by means of secret asso- 
ciations, and to prepare themselves for open action when 
the proper opportunity should occur. This was the revo- 
lutionary party, which in the days of Marathon, of Pla- 
tsese, and Tanagra (vol. ii. pp. 251, 366, 440) had shown 
itself ready to betray the city to the enemy, as long as the 
latter would help to overthrow the democracy ; a party 
which, for the purpose of overthrowing Pericles, had com- 
bined with the multitude and its leaders, and which even 
now continued, under the sham pretence of religion and 
higher principles of policy, to attack the legally established 
constitution. The errors and exaggerations of the latter 
were not unwelcome to this party, whose hopes were con- 
stantly revived by the troubles which came upon the city 
from abroad, and by the confusion into which it fell at 

Considerably more numerous, however, 
was the other party, which, far from calling pa T r ^ Moderate 
into question the constitution itself, was 
merely anxious to oppose its abuses, and to counteract the 
unlimited influence of the new demagogues. The position 
of this party was an uncommonly difficult one ; inasmuch 
as its task was above all to temper and restrain, and to 
raise the voice of moderation, while the demagogues put 
forward bold projects, dazzled the multitude with the 
promise of brilliant successes, and with passionate warmth 
pursued particular ends corresponding to the wishes of the 
crowd. In proportion as the citizens were accustomed to 

98 History of Greece. C B < 

the flatteries of the new orators, the leaders of the 

rates found it difficult to acquire influence. The; 

forced, like the others, to sue for the favor of the mull 

surrounded by jealous enemies, they had anxiou 

avoid everything of which advantage could be tak 

casting suspicion upon them; they had to prove 

character as munificent benefactors and friends < 

people, and to attempt to gain their ends by all man 

circuitous paths. Finally, the existing state of 

itself made it impossible for those whose common ol 

was to prevent evil effects arising from abuses of th 

stitution to possess such definite principles of politic 

tion, as are necessary for keeping a party firmly an 

manently together for the purpose of united operati 

large number of the members of the Moderate par 

well-to-do and quiet citizens of Athens, were by nat 

adapted for becoming active party-men ; and such p< 

ges as Diodotus, the son of Eucrates, although of 

ageous spirit and high oratorical gifts, only trans 

took an active part in public affairs. Such were tl 

culties surrounding the position of this party ; the qi 

as to its leadership was therefore of infinite imports 

There was, however, no difficulty 

Nicias, choice; for among the well-to-do and 

rate citizens Nicias, the son of Nicerat 

at that time so eminent a personage, that after the 

of Pericles he became the centre of all who perceh 

dangerous turn public affairs had taken. Nicias ^ 

wealthiest man in Athens. He was the owner oi 

possessions in Laurium (vol. ii. p. 260), where 1,000 

labored for him in the silver-mines. At the same 1 

was a perfect master of Attic culture, experienced 

litical knowledge, and moreover endowed with the i 

speech, though he was no born orator : a man of bh 

honor and proved efficiency, whom even the comic 

generally treated with respect. He had been a co] 

Chap, ii.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 99 

of Pericles in the generalship; and had on several occa- 
sions been distinguished and recommended by him. The 
fleet could be entrusted to no safer hands ; accordingly, 
Nicias was strategus for five successive years after the death 
of Pericles. He was liberal and munificent after the ex- 
ample of Cimon, adorned the city with splendid dedicatory 
gifts, and when his turn arrived, took advantage of the 
Liturgies to delight the people with the most unusual 
spectacles. Upon the poor he bestowed profuse largesses, 
not only from kind and charitable motives, but also from 
anxious timidity and caution; it being his endeavor, not 
only to foster the ardor of his friends, but also to gain over 
those who disliked and might possibly damage him. Pie 
could not conceal his intentions ; but the people was pleased 
notwithstanding, since it saw from his conduct how much 
depended, even for the powerful Nicias, upon public 
opinion. In his public life, also, he was anxious to sur- 
round himself with a certain semblance of importance ; 
like Pericles, he kept apart from social intercourse ; and 
his adherents were busy to spread the fame of his unceas- 
ing labors, and to motion officious visitors away from his 
doors. His bearing was measured and solemn; without 
ever denying his convictions, he was averse from express- 
ing them, because he was by nature shy, and always afraid 
of injuring his own dignity by word or deed ; he lacked 
the necessary courage for incurring any personal risk. He 
was, moreover, devoid of ambition, and had been placed in 
a prominent position by circumstances, rather than by any 
wish of his own. When he first rose to it, he was weak in 
health, and past his youth ; he could no longer overcome 
his inborn want of resolution ; and even as a general 
sought his chief strength in the avoidance of any mishap. 
And as he lacked the power of resolutely determining his 
own conduct, he was doubly anxious to find support else- 
where. Instead of, like Pericles, confronting the people in 
independence of spirit, and crushing all influences of su- 

100 History of Greece. [ B < 

perstition, wherever they made their appearance, ] 
himself in a high degree dependent upon such influ 
the dislike of modern free-thinking had led him 
other extreme ; for he timidly attached importance 1 
monitory signs of all kinds, as well as to the declai 
of the soothsayers, of whom one always dwelt und 
roof. Thus, men of contemptible character, such a 
pithes, succeeded in establishing an influence over hi 
to his political opinions, he was thoroughly loyal i 
constitution, and animated by kindly feelings towar 
people, and by an aversion from all secret intrigues 
wished, as against Sparta, to preserve the honor of J 
intact ; but he regarded war as a misfortune, and cons 
an honorable peace possible.* 

It is easy to perceive, that Nicias w 
The power the man to remove the great diffi< 
Athens. against which the party of the Mod 

had to contend. The citizens, ho 1 
were still possessed of sufficient judgment, to reo 
the high value to them of such men as Nicias, by tl 
of the new demagogues ; the people after all felt a 
for men who inspired in them an involuntary esteen 
therefore never refused their confidence to Nicias 
always honored him as a faithful counsellor. Nc 
there any other man who could easily dispute witl 
his position in the state; since nowhere else ex'u 
similar combination of character and merit with 
birth and wealth. The power of money was very gr 
Athens ; and notwithstanding the equality upon whi< 
democracy plumed itself, brave generals like Lam 
were on account of their want of means unable to 

* As to the treatment of Nicias by Comedy; C. Fr. Hermann, j 
sonse Nicise apud Aristophanem, 1835 ; Schmidt, De vita Nicise, p. 
Aristotle on Nicias, Plut. c. 2. For Diopithes, cf. Hermann ubi t 
25 ; Meineke, Comm. Att. i. 87 ,* Droysen, N. lihein. Mut. iii. 180 
cher, Klio, p. 216. 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 101 

to any permanent authority. Nicias himself regarded his 
wealth as the foundation of his power, and was exceed- 
ingly conscientious in its administration ; he declined no 
means of profit, and let out his slaves to other persons for 
hire, as day-laborers. By reason of his wealth he had 
become the head of a party ; and the distinction between 
the poor and the rich at Athens now manifested itself 
more sharply than ever ; for those who had much to lose 
were most deeply interested in opposing a reckless conduct 
of public affairs. This division constituted a new germ 
of discontent and suspicion ; for as soon as the party of 
Nicias opposed itself to reckless schemes of war, it was 
immediately suspected, that selfish motives induced them 
to prevent an energetic prosecution of the war, because 
the burdens of the latter rested principally on the mem- 
bers of this party. The orators who represented the mul- 
titude took every possible advantage of these feelings of 
distrust, and, by attacking the wealthy minority of the 
community, endeavored to increase their own popularity. 

While these changes befell the inner life 
of Athens, the war proceeded without inter- w ™f "* 
ruption and with increasing vehemence. 
The belligerent states, which in the first years of the war 
had contented themselves with endeavoring to discover at 
what points, and in what manner, they might most success- 
fully attack one another, now began to make use of their 
experiences for more effective undertakings. 

The Peloponnesians had already attempted to assert 
their power against the Athenians by sea ; and since they 
were unable to force the latter to a battle by land, and 
to gain a victory after the ancient Spartan fashion, they 
h?d, against their usual custom, commenced a regular 
siege, in order to chastise the most faithful allies of 
Athens, the Platseans, and to gain a strong military posi- 
tion in the rear of the foe. The calamities which had 

102 History of Greece. [Bo 

befallen Athens encouraged them to adopt a more 
ous method of warfare ; and such personages as Br 
(p. 62) had already found opportunities for distingu: 
themselves by their efficient conduct of operations. 

At the same time a wider extent of 
its E Hmilf n ° f tr y ^ad gradually come to particip; 
the war. For, besides Attica and B 
Acarnania also had now become one of the scenes oi 
and, furthermore, the tribes of the north, whicr. 
hitherto remained wholly apart from the history < 
Greek states, were now for the first time involved 
complications ; and upon the chieftains of these trib< 
idea first dawned: that the division among the ( 
cities furnished the tribes with a chance of obtaining 
ence and plunder. Thus Epirote tribes, under their 
tains, had descended from the neighborhood of the 
atic down the valley of the Achelous, in order to 
the Ambraciotes against the Acarnanians (p. 78) 
King of the Odrysse had already offered very effectr 
to the course of Athens; for the crafty Perdiccas 
stantly lay in wait for taking advantage of the cou 
events, and unhesitatingly, while he was still in al 
with Athens, despatched auxiliaries to succor her en 
in Acarnania. Excitement prevailed among the 
both on the islands and on the coast of Asia Mino] 
the ambitious schemes of Pissuthnes, who had Arc 
mercenaries in his service, were no secret (vol. ii. p. 
In Hellas itself the feeling of mutual enmity, 
between the parties opposed to one another in the pa 
lar communities, and between the belligerent t 
increased in bitterness ; so that their redoubled eagi 
to inflict damage upon the enemy drove them to coi 
the war even during the winter season. 

Thus the Peloponnesians, after the conflicts h 
Gulf of Corinth, undertook late in the year b. c. 
(OL lxxxvii. 4), an expedition under Cnemus and ] 

Cnu>. ii.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 103 

das, which in boldness surpassed any pre- Peloponn e SiaiI 
vious enterprise upon which they had ven- expedition across 

. —,, n s> 1 • the Isthmus. 01. 

tured. Ine crews 01 forty snips were i xxx ^ii. 4. (b. c. 
landed in the vicinity of Corinth ; each 429 ) 
sailor took with him his oar, his seat cushion, and his 
strap ; and with this equipment the men marched straight 
across the Isthmus in all speed, manned forty vessels from 
the magazines at Nicaea, and then sailed directly upon the 
Pirseeus, which was known to be open towards the sea. 
The ships were on their way, and all circumstances 
seemed to promise success, when the Peloponnesians took 
fright at their own audacity, and, instead of seizing upon 
the favorable moment, landed at Salamis, captured the 
ships there, three in number, and devastated the island. 
Hereupon the alarm was given to the Athenians by fiery 
beacons ; an awful terror came upon them, to find them- 
selves thus suddenly surprised in their own waters ; but 
this terror remained the only result of the expedition, and 
the Athenians learnt in future to keep a better watch over 
their port. 

In the north of the JEgean also the commencement of 
winter was accompanied by new doings of war. Perdiccas 
had failed to perform the promises made by him when he 
joined the alliance of the Odrysse and the Athenians; 
accordingly Sitalces assembled an army of 
100,000 foot and 50,000 horse for an inva- sitaiTes. 1 ° n o°i. 
sion of Macedonia. All the country as far ixxxvii. 4. (b.c. 
as Thermopylae trembled at the approach of 
the barbarian hosts, which included the most warlike 
tribes of the North ; and the enemies of Athens were 
fully persuaded that their subjection was the object of the 
march. The immediate intention of Sitalces was to estab- 
lish the pretender Amyntas on the throne of Macedonia ; 
in effecting which he reckoned upon the support of the 
Athenians, at whose instigation he had first entered upon 
his undertaking. With irresistible numbers he fell upon 

104 History of Greece. [ b °<>k IV. 

the Chalcidian cities, and advanced as far as the rivel 
Axius ; but no Attic ships arrived, and the whole situa- 
tion of affairs was suddenly reversed. The party hostile 
to the Athenians, headed by Seuthes, the nephew of 
Sitalces, prevailed ; the hardships of winter supervened ; 
and Perdiccas hastened to take advantage of these circum- 
stances for proposals of peace, which were immediately 
accepted. Seuthes became the brother-in-law of the king ; 
the vast army of the Thracians was disbanded ; and thus 
the promising combination between Athens and the king- 
dom of the Odrysse was for ever at an end. Probably the 
non-arrival of the Attic ships was merely due to negli- 
gence or to the want of a proper understanding; unless, 
indeed, we prefer to assume that the first unfolding of 
their new ally's power awakened feelings of jealousy 
against him in the Athenians, and that they intentionally 
left him in the lurch. In any case, the event already 
proved a want of energy at the right moment, such as 
occurred on several occasions after the death of Pericles. 
Lastly, the war continued during the winter season in 
Acarnania also. Immediately after the disbanding of the 
Peloponnesian fleet, Phormio landed in Astacus, expelled 
the party hostile to the Athenians out of several cities, 
and was about to take CEniadse, the chief seat of this 
party, when the Achelous, whose waters had risen and sur- 
rounded the city like a lake, was found to render any 
attack impossible. Phormio therefore returned to Nau- 
pactus, whence, when spring set in, he conducted the cap- 
tured vessels and the prisoners to Athens.* 

The next summer (that of the fourth 

of the war" y ear °^ ^e war ) matured an event which 

01. lxxxvii. 4. had been preparing for years. For already, 

Summer. before the first outbreak of the war, the 

Lesbians- (who, besides Chios, were the only 

* Erents of the winter : Thuc. ii. 95-103. Diod. xii. 49 f. 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 105 

free allies of Athens remaining) had come to a secret 
understanding with Sparta, the negotiations being carried 
on from Mitylene, the largest among the five cities of 
Lesbos. Situate nearly opposite the coast of Asia Minor, 
Mitylene lay on a height jutting out towards the sound of 
the sea, and enclosed by two harbor bays, one to the north 
(Maloeis) and one to the south, the latter constituting the 
harbor of war proper. The two bays were connected by 
means of a canal flowing through the middle of the town. 
By a rare combination, Mitylene united beauty and 
strength of situation to all the advantages of maritime 

But in a far higher degree than the mere structure of 
their city her history gives evidence of the grandeur of 
her citizens' ambition. For, instead of remaining content 
with the prosperity of a flourishing seaport, they had 
established a dominion beyond the limits of their territory, 
primarily on their own island. Here they had success- 
ively subjected Antissa, Eresus, and Pyrrha, and incorpo- 
rated the three towns in their dominion. Next they had, 
like Samos and Thasos, further contrived to acquire and 
maintain considerable possessions on the mainland 
opposite. Here all the most important places had once 
been founded from Lesbos (vol. i. p. 141), particularly 
Assus and Gargarus ; and the passionate desire of the 
Mitylenseans was now directed to a further pursuit of 
their ambitious policy on island and mainland. On either 
Athens stood in their way. 

All the differences which agitated the Greek world 
exercised their effects in this instance. For, in the first 
place, Mitylene was governed by an exclusive body of 
noble and wealthy families ; they had made their city 
great by their energy and sagacity, had held fast to their 
privileges as against the body of the citizens, and accord- 
ingly hated democratic Athens. It was against their will 
that they sent their ships to serve the Athenian power, 


1.06 History of Greece. t BooK IV. 

and they were constantly afraid of sooner or later seeing 
their native government endangered from the same 
quarter. Moreover, the cities of the mainland, the 
ancient colonies of the Lesbians, had for the most part 
become tributary towns of Athens. 

On this soil an ancient rivalry prevailed 
Revolt of Mi- between Athens and Lesbos, which had led 

tylene. 7 

to sanguinary conflicts as early as the times 
of the Pisistratidse (vol. i. p. 384). These events had not 
been forgotten ; and all schemes of the Mitylenaeans for 
extending the limits of their possessions on the mainland 
were now more than ever rendered futile by the power of 
Athens. But far more susceptible and critical was the 
third point where Mitylene saw herself hard pressed by 
Athens — viz., the command of the island of Lesbos itself. 
For the union of the latter as one territory and collective 
state had for years been obstructed by the resistance of 
Methymna, in size the second cit} r in Lesbos, situate on 
the north coast of the island, opposite to the Troad, and 
under her democratic government a faithful adherent of 
Athens, in whose alliance Methymna saw the sole pledge 
for the maintenance of her independence. 

Lastly, these differences, due to political principles and 
schemes, were heightened by the ancient opposition of the 
races, which the present war had everywhere revived. As 
on the mainland among the Boeotians, so in the Archi- 
pelago among the Lesbians, the ancient jealousy of the 
iEolic race against the Ionians of Attica broke forth 
again ; it amounted to a simultaneous attempt to establish 
an independent power on the ancient territory of the 
^Eolic race, in Asia as well as in Europe. Moreover, the 
endeavors in either quarter were directly connected with 
one another. The oligarchical principles prevailing both 
in Thebes and in Mitylene had occasioned an approxima- 
tion between the two states, a revival of the common 
feelings of race, and a combined political action. After, 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 107 

then, the first overtures made at Sparta by Mitylene, 
before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War had 
remained without result, the Thebans, after the war had 
commenced, opened fresh negotiations ; they clearly per- 
ceived that the Peloponnesian confederation could scarcely 
meet with a new adherent of greater importance than 
Mitylene ; they also hoped now to find greater readiness 
and determination on the part of Sparta ; and at the same 
time the Mitylenseans were ready themselves to take the 
decisive step. To proceed without delay was their own 
interest; they could not tell how long the present system 
could be maintained against the democratic party on 
Lesbos itself, and thought that to wait any longer must 
impair, and could not improve, their situation.* 

The governing families were aware of the losses Athens 
had suffered in the pestilence, of the exhaustion of her 
finances by the siege of Potidsea, and of her being forced 
to employ her navy in several places at once. The bold 
attempt of Sparta to attack Athens on her own coasts had 
raised the courage of the Mitylenseans ; they reckoned 
upon the discontent existing in iEolis and Ionia ; and had 
probably also arrived at an understanding with Pis- 
suthnes. They determined to prepare for the revolt with 
all possible caution and energy. They built new ships, 
threw up moles which secured their harbors, filled their 
corn magazines, and took Scythian bowmen into their pay. 

But although the Mitylenseans proceeded with extreme 
caution, it was impossible for them to keep their plans 
secret. The jealousy of Tenedos and Methymna, as w r ell 
as the division of parties in the city of Mitylene itself, 
where political life was in a very critical state, operated 
advantageously for the Athenians. Doxander, a citizen 
of Mitylene, who had asked the hand of two noble heir- 
esses for his sons, and had been contumeliously rejected, 

* See Wilh. Herbst, Der Abfall Mitylene' a : Cologne, 1861. 

108 History of Greece. l BooK iv. 

took veDgeance upon the aristocrats by betraying their 
schemes to the Athenians, with whom he stood in relations 
of mutual hospitality. Here, again, the importance of 
these Proxeni (vol. ii. p. 546) for Athens was made mani- 
fest ; who secretly and without any official orders observed 
the state of public feeling in the allied cities, and sent due 
notice of dangerous movements to Athens. Thus, at the 
time when Archidamus was for the third time advancing 
upon Attica, i. e., towards the commencement of the fourth 
summer of the war, certain news was received at Athens 
that a new and dangerous naval war was inevitable. 

After the Athenians had for a long time 

Athenian mea- „ , 

sures against relused to credit the news, they attempted 
Mityiene. ^y means f embassies to persuade the Mi- 

tylenseans to desist from their undertaking, but in vain ; 
and thus it became at last necessary to take serious steps. 
Accordingly the Lesbian ships present in the fleet were 
immediately seized, and forty triremes sent out under 
Cle'ippides. But there was an absence of such energy as 
that which Pericles had displayed on the occasion of the 
revolt of Samos. For not only was the surprise frus- 
trated, to effect which it had been intended to take 
advantage of a suburban festival of Apollo, but the 
authorities of the revolted city even succeeded by cunning 
negotiations in restraining the Attic admiral from a rapid 
assault, and in employing the truce thus obtained for the 
completion of their armaments and for the despatch of an 
embassy to Sparta. Fortunately for Athens, the Spartans 
displayed still less resolution. For instead of acting ra- 
pidly on their own responsibility, while the menaced city 
still remained accessible, they bade the envoys of the 
Mitylenseans appear at Olympia, where the great festival 
chanced to be at hand, which the war had reduced to a 
purely Peloponnesian meeting, and which was therefore 
made use of for the settlement of confederate business. 
In Olympia the Mitylenseans made a speech, highly 

Chap, ii.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 109 

creditable to their courage and determina- The Lesbians 

• • j atOlympia. 01. 

tion. Instead of complaining of the bad lxxxviii. i.(b.c 
treatment to which they had been sub- 428 Jul y- 
jected, and by which they had been forced to seek for 
aid abroad — instead even of inveighing against the 
tyranny of Athens — they simply declared that their 
independence was apparent rather than real, being 
iii truth insecure and conditional upon the grace of 
Athens. This state of things they declared themselves 
unable to bear; they refused to belong to a confedera- 
tion which had so completely changed its original 
character, or, on the other hand, to serve as instruments 
to Athens for the support of her selfish dominion. This 
was the haughty language of an aristocracy to which 
dependence upon the citizens of Athens was intolerable, 
Nor did the Mitylenseans appear in the character of sup- 
pliants with nothing to offer ; but, as in the case of the 
Corcyrseans and Athenians, so the Mitylenseans proved to 
the Peloponncsians that the latter ought to regard an 
alliance with them as an invaluable advantage, inasmuch 
as it furnished the Peloponnesian confederacy with a forti- 
fied station in a most favorable situation, as well as with 
money and ships, and enabled it to attack Athens not 
only in Attica, where least harm could be inflicted upon, 
her, but at her most vulnerable points. The Mitylen&ans 
declared that, at the instigation of the Boeotians, they had 
commenced the revolt sooner than they had originally 
intended, and that they therefore had a double claim for 
prompt assistance on the part of the confederation ; while 
the amount of energy with which that assistance was given 
would decide the measure of authority which Sparta would 
continue to enjoy. 

The immediate effect of this speech was complete. The 
Mitylenseans were admitted as members of the Pelopon- 
nesian confederation, and speedy federal assistance prom- 
ised. A fresh attack by sea and land was immediately to 

110 History of Greece. \?qok IV. 

be executed against Athens : and in the shortest possible 
time the Spartan army stood at the Isthmus, and prepared 
to transport the triremes lying in Lechseum to the harbor 
opposite. But the other Peloponnesians failed to make 
their appearance ; they were occupied with the harvest, 
and extremely unwilling to undertake a second campaign 
in the same summer. The Athenians, on the other hand, 
fully realized the importance of the crisis. Now was the 
moment for them to show that their power was unbroken, 
and that they were ready, at points most widely apart 
from one another, to meet their enemies. To their amaze- 
ment, the Spartans saw a fleet of 100 triremes appear off 
the Isthmus, all plans of crossing which were thereby 
immediately undone, while at the same time the news 
arrived that a second Athenian fleet was levying forced 
contributions upon the coarts of Laconia. Besides these, 
80 triremes were sent to Acarnania, and instead of the 
vessels at Mitylene being called off, as the enemy had 
expected, their numbers were reinforced. Meanwhile 
the Mitylenseans had employed the interval in increasing 
their preparations for war on the island. An attack 
directed by them against Methymna had failed, but the 
dependent cities were newly fortified, and it 

off Aiitvieae 1VeS was determined to maintain possession of 
each single place. But towards the begin- 
ning of the autumn Paches arrives with 1,000 hoplites; 
the rebellious city was walled in from the 

Oi. lxxxviii. l an d si(j e an d w hen the winter came, the 
l. (b. c. 428.) _ . . _ . . „ . ' . 

Autumn. blockade was complete, and all possibility 

of aid cut off* 
Meanwhile the undertaking against Plataese, com- 
menced in the third year of the war, at the time when 
the pestilence was raging in Athens, had by no means pro- 

* Events of the latter part of the summer of b. c. 428 : Thuc. iii. 8 ff. 

Chap. EL] The War to the Peace of Nicias. Ill 

ceeded according to the expectations of the 
Spartans. For when they appeared before Archidamus be- 
the little city with the whole army of the oi^ixxxviii!*! 
confederation, they hoped to accomplish (b.c. 428.) 
their object by means of negotiation ; and 
when the Platoeans appealed to the solemnly-guaranteed 
inviolability of their territory, they received the deceitful 
answer, that it was solely intended to accord to them the 
perfect independence which was their due ; at the present 
moment they were neither free nor independent ; let them 
therefore quit the Attic alliance, and remain perfectly 
neutral. The Platseans hereupon referred to their situa- 
tion, which made it necessary for them to attach them- 
selves to a larger state; moreover, they added, their 
alliance with Athens, which was now interpreted as a 
crime against them, had been concluded by the express 
directions of Sparta (vol. i. p. 415). To sever their 
alliance with Athens would be to deliver up their city to 
their worst enemies. Archidamus broke off these discus- 
sions, which could not but be painful for every Spartan 
who yet retained a spark of honorable feeling ; he pointed 
out to the Platceans the dangers which in any case sur- 
rounded them, and proposed to them that they should 
emigrate, and for the entire remainder of the war hand 
over the territory of their city to him ; their immovable 
property should be accurately catalogued, and restored to 
them in full after the termination of the war, together 
with the land itself. 

There can be no doubt that the proposal 
was honestly meant on the part of the tionoM^atese" 
king ; and there was the more reason for 01. lxxxviii. l. 
offering it, since the women and children, September, 
and the whole population with the exception 
of 400 citizens, had already emigrated to Attica; Sparta 
promising to undertake the obligation herself of pro- 
viding for the support of the citizens during the period of 

112 History of Greece. [ BooK IV » 

their exile. It is easy to understand why the Platseang 
met their proposal with no direct refusal, but submitted it 
to the Athenians for their opinion. The latter rejected it, 
and promised active aid. Hereupon the Platseans no 
longer hesitated for a single moment ; from the walls they 
declared to their enemies, that they were resolved, under 
all circumstances, to remain true to their alliance with 
Athens, and made ready for the most determined defence. 
Nothing remained for Archidamus but to proceed to 
extremities. After he had endeavored by a solemn in- 
vocation of all the Gods and Heroes of the land to 
appease his conscience, and to throw the whole guilt of 
the war upon the Plataeans, he caused all the timber to be 
cut on the declivities of Mount Cithseron, beneath which 
the city lay, palisades to be erected, and with the help of 
these a wall to be built, from the height of which the 
defenders of the city wall might be attacked. It was the 
wish of the Spartans at any cost to avoid a long and 
expensive siege ; and the soldiers were therefore ordered 
to work day and night at the wall. In seventy days it 
was finished. The Platseans, however, raised the height 
of their walls over against it by means of bulwarks ; by 
subterraneous passages destroyed the enemy's earthworks ; 
and behind the threatened portion of their own wall built 
another, to serve as a retreat. Furthermore, they con- 
trived to disable the machines intended to break their wall 
by crushing their heads or catching them in nooses at the 
moment of their approach. Finally, the besiegers em- 
ployed the power of fire, by filling up the space between the 
city wall and their own with combustible materials, and 
causing a conflagration, the smoke and heat of which 
threatened to destroy the entire city and its defenders, till, 
as it is related, a storm of rain at the last moment unex- 
pectedly preserved them. 

Hereupon Archidamus, who, like an ancient Spartan, 
had only with great repugnance consented to build a wall 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 113 

and employ siege-machines, was obliged to relinquish 
finally the idea of overcoming the little band of Plataean 
citizens by force ; he was obliged to adopt the tedious 
method of surrounding the entire city with a wall, so as to 
wear it out by famine. The precipitous situation of the 
city made this task extremely difficult of accomplishment. 
But no labor was deemed excessive ; for the conflict had 
become more desperate as it proceeded ; and the Thebans 
exerted themselves in every way to prevent the work from 
coming to a stand-still. A double wall was now built 
round the entire city, with a trench facing both towards 
the latter and towards the outer side of the walls, which, 
at regular intervals, were furnished with turrets ; the 
passage between the walls, sixteen feet in breadth, was 
covered, and formed, as it were, a large guard-house sur- 
rounding the hostile city. Towards the middle of Sep- 
tember the immense work was finished ; it was possible to 
dismiss the majority of the troops; the watch on the wall 
was divided between Peloponnesian and Theban soldiers, 
each body having its appointed place ; and a band of 300 
was kept in reserve for unforeseen cases. 

For one whole year the Platseans had 
held out in their prison, cut off from all T *?® £ lat , aB! !, n8 

r run the blockade. 

intercourse, without hope of relief, sur- 01. lxxxviii. l. 
rounded by foes athirst for their blood, Member. 
Provisions began to fall short. Accord- 
ingly, the bravest among the besieged determined to 
hazard an attempt to break the blockade. After they 
had furnished themselves with scaling-ladders of the 
height of the enemy's walls, they took advantage of a 
rough and stormy December night, when the sentinels 
might be supposed to have retired into the towers which 
served them as sentry-boxes. 

Two hundred and twenty men left the city ; they were 
lightly armed, and shod only on the left foot, so as to 
have a firmer support in the case of a fight ; the right foot 

114 History of Greece. [ B <> 0K IV. 

was bare, in order to facilitate the march through the 
mud. Each man holding himself at a moderate distance 
from his neighbor, in order to avoid any clash of arms, 
they cross the trench, climb the wall, man after man 
reaching up his shield to his predecessor ; the sentries in 
the nearest towers on the right and left are put to death ; 
everything proceeds successfully and without noise ; the 
Platseans are masters of a piece of the wall surmounted 
by two towers, which they occupy; and most of them 
have mounted the wall. Suddenly the fall of a tile from 
the top gives the alarm to the garrison. Seven Plata3ans 
begin to retrace their steps, thinking everything is lost. 
But while the enemy remains wholly in doubt as to what 
is taking place, and no man dares to quit his post, one 
after another of the brave band descends from the outer 
wall ; and at last even those who had kept watch in the 
towers quit their post and succed in reaching the outer 
trench. This they find full of water, and overlaid with a 
thin coating of ice. Hence arises a delay in crossing, and 
before all have passed over, they see troops with torches 
approaching ; — it is the reserve of 300, which comes up to 
them at the trench. But the torches, by dazzling the eyes 
of the pursuers, hinder their movements, and are of assist- 
ance in the struggle to the Platseans. A single archer is 
taken prisoner. The others make good their escape, and 
take the road to Thebes, presuming that the pursuit will 
be made on the road to Attica. On reaching Erythrse, 
and not before, they turn to the right into the mountains, 
and in the morning arrive at Athens, at the same hour in 
which their comrades are sending heralds to the besieging 
force, to ask for the bodies of their brethren, all of whom 
they deemed lost. Never have bravery and determined 
skill met with a more glorious reward.* Even those 

* Archidamus and the Plataeans : Thuc. ii. 72. Break of the blockade : 
Thuc. iii. 20, 21 ; Diod. xii. 56. 

Chap. IL] The War to the Peace of Nidas. 115 

remaining behind were gainers, having now a chance of 
holding out longer with their provisions. 

Thus in the beginning of the fifth year of the war the 
general interest centred in two sieges ; both of which 
involved the heaviest sacrifices on the part of the besiegers, 
while in both the promised relief continued to be looked 
for, and to be looked for in vain. 

In the spring, indeed, the Peloponnesian fleet had at 
last completed its preparations, and Alcidas, with forty • 
two sail, set out from Gytheum for the iEgean. It was 
the first time since the establishment of the 
Attic naval alliance that Peloponnesian f Attica. 01. 
men-of-war made their appearance in the l^Y 111 ' l ' ^ B,c * 
waters which Athens regarded as her own 
domain. In order to give additional effect to this naval 
expedition, the land army of the Peloponnesians simul- 
taneously invaded Attica under Cleomenes, the uncle and 
guardian of Pausanias, the son of Plistoanax, and succes- 
sor in the command of the army to Archiclamus (who had 
died shortly before, after a reign of forty-two years). 
This fourth invasion was particularly disastrous for the 
Athenians, because the Spartans endeavored to maintain 
themselves in the country as long as possible, in the hope 
of receiving during their stay in Attica, news of victory 
from Alcidas. But these expectations soon proved utterly 
fallacious ; for the Spartan admiral's unskilfulness and 
cowardice did everything possible to frustrate the object 
of his enterprise. He timidly cruised among the Cyclades, 
Avhile the situation of Mitylene was becoming extremely 
critical. The Mitylenseans were unable to wait any 
longer ; and accordingly the Spartan Salsethus, who had 
contrived to enter the city a few months previously, in 
order to announce the approach of relief, advised the gov- 
ernment, as a last resort, to attempt a sally. For this 
purpose all the suits of armor in the possession of the city 
were distributed, even among the poorer classes of citizens, 

116 History of Greece. C b ook IV. 

who had hitherto only served as light-armed troops. But 
scarcely had this been done, -when the people declared 
against the government, and demanded that all the corn- 
magazines should be opened, threatening at the same time 
to enter into immediate negotiations with the Athenians. 
Under the circumstances, nothing remained 

Capitulation _ .«.,., . 

of Mityiene. 01. for the governing families but to act in con- 

42n Vm A *^ B ° cert w ^ ^ ie P eo pl e > and to open negotia- 
tions with Paches ; otherwise they alone 
would have been delivered up as the authors of the revolt. 
Paches promised, until the supreme decision at Athens 
had been referred to, neither to imprison, nor enslave, nor 
put to death, a single individual. Notwithstanding this 
promise, when the Athenians entered the city, the oligarchs 
sat trembling on the steps of the altars ; for they deemed 
their lives safe at the hands neither of their fellow-citizens 
nor of the enemy. They were eventually taken into 
custody and carried to Tenedos. 

Seven days had passed since the surrender of Mityiene 
when Alcidas arrived and anchored opposite Lesbos, in the 
neighborhood of Erythrse. He came too late for his 
principal purpose; yet it remained an extraordinary 
event for a Peloponnesian fleet to be lying off the Ionian 
coast. And since such a demonstration had been actually 
made, it was necessary to attempt to accomplish what 
remained feasible. Nor were there wanting among those 
admitted to the presence of the admiral, counsellors who 
fully recognized the importance of the present conjuncture. 
Teutiaplus, the Elean, demanded that the Athenians 
should be without delay surprised in Mityiene, before 
they were prepared for an attack. And, furthermore, 
Ionian fugitives and Lesbians arrived in the fleet and 
urged Alcidas to take some decisive step. They bade 
him take up a position in some Ionian city or in JEolic 
Cyme, gather all discontented persons around him, carry 
into effect the policy announced by Sparta, and proclaim 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 117 

the independence of the Hellenic cities in Ionia and 

No Attic fleet was at hand, and the agitation was 
universal. The Persians were busily engaged in taking 
advantage of the excitement everywhere prevailing 
against Attica, and restoring their power at certain points 
of the coast; with the aid of a party in the city, Colophon 
had again fallen into their hands in the summer of B. c. 
430 (01. lxxxvii. 3) ; and from Notium also, the port of 
Colophon, the citizens favorable to Athens had been 
forcibly expelled. By means of his Arcadian mercena- 
ries, Pissuthnes had aided in this transaction — the same 
satrap who had already, in the Samian war, given proofs 
of his animosity against Athens and of his readiness to 
interfere in the affairs of Greece. If, then, the Spartan 
general were to effect an understanding with Pissuthnes, 
Athens might be threatened with the most dangerous 
combination of forces. But Alcidas would listen to no 
advice of the kind. He timidly sailed along the coast, 
and accomplished nothing beyond seizing and putting to 
death certain harmless Ionians, until he was reminded by 
the Samians that these proceedings would surely not tend 
to recommend him as a liberator of Hellas. But as soon 
as he had the slightest ground for believing himself to be 
pursued by a force from Athens, his aimless cruisings 
changed into craven flight, and he hurried home straight 
across the sea. 

Thus, without any exertion on their own part, the 
Athenians saw themselves delivered from all danger, 
and were enabled immediately to employ their fleet 
for restoring their authority to its full height in Asia 
Minor. The town of Notium — where for a time the two 
hostile parties among the citizens, those respectively 
favoring the Athenians and the Persians, had, with 
nothing but a wall to separate them, carried on their 
doings side by side — was by stratagem and violence 

118 History of Greece. l BooK Iv - 

brought back under the power of Athens. Finally, 
Paches easily accomplished the subjection of the island 
of Lesbos; and sent the Lesbian aristocrats, together 
with the Spartan Salsethus, whose hiding-place had been 
discovered, to Athens, there to receive their sentence.* 

When the unhappy men were landed in 
Athens aa to the the Pirseeus, the citizens were in a state of 
doom of Mity- feverish excitement, and the trial which 
now commenced affords clear evidence of 
the changes which the last few years had produced in 
public life at Athens. The causes of this excitement 
may be easily traced : the siege of the revolted city had 
demanded extraordinary sacrifices ; the treasury had been 
exhausted, with the exception of the reserved fund ; and 
for the first time it became necessary to levy a property- 
tax, in order to procure a sum of 200 talents for the 
purposes of the siege. This measure by itself having 
caused great consternation, since at the beginning of the 
war the hope of victory had been principally based upon 
the treasure, the exasperation against the revolted allies 
was doubly bitter. The Athenians had recived a terrible 
warning of the dangers attaching to the situation of their 
state. Persia threatened the towns in their alliance ; a 
hostile fleet had made its appearance in Ionia ; and to 
nothing but the utter incapacity of the leader of the 
latter could it be ascribed that the revolt of Lesbos had 
not been followed by a rising on the Ionian and JEolian 
mainland. To this fear on behalf of their possessions 
beyond the sea was now added wrath at the devastation ot 
their own country and anxiety on account of Plataese. In 
this period of manifold excitement the citizens were 
without any leader able or willing to calm it ; but their 
orators merely desired to encourage these feelings, and 
to add vehemence to the passions of the people : above 

* Fourth invasion: Thuc. iii. 26.— Fall of Mitylene: ib. 27 f. 

chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Niclas. 119 

all, Cleon, who at this time exercised a commanding 

Cleon's father, Clesenetus, had been the 

/» n . i n i Tne political 

owner of a manufactory, and employed a position of 
large number of slaves in the tanning of cleon - 
hides and manufactory of leather wares ; a branch of 
industry which flourished exceedingly in Athens, but at 
the same time enjoyed no high repute. The sphere in 
which Cleon grew up was not likely to secure him a 
higher degree of culture ; his personal appearance was 
rude and vulgar, his voice rough, and his manner of 
speech blustering. In the consciousness of rude vigor, he 
prided himself upon being nothing but a man of the 
people ; and when the multitude expended its fury upon 
those who confronted it with superior culture, he was in 
his right place as the people's mouth-piece. Thus he had 
directed his invectives against Pericles, and even com- 
bined for an attack upon the philosophic friends of tho 
latter with such men as Diopithes (p. 48). The satisfac- 
tion which the citizens afterwards accorded to the offended 
statesman amounted to a defeat for Cleon, in consequence 
of which he remained somewhat in the background 
during the next few years. He then came forward 
anew ; and after the removal of Eucrates, and the death 
of Lysicles at the time of the siege of Mitylene (p. 95), 
was warranted in regarding himself as the first man in 
the state. 

Among the means employed by Cleon 

« 7 , - i The Sycophants. 

for securmg so large an amount of popular 

favor, the most effective was doubtless that of raising the 

pay of the jurymen, which, on his motion, was trebled 

(vol. ii. p. 499). By this change the significance of the 

institution in question was completely altered. For a pay- 

* First ei(T<f>opa: Thuc. iii. 19; cf. Boeckh, P. E. of Ath., ii. jp. 228. 
[Eng. Tr.] 

120 History of Greece. L B °o K l y - 

ment of three obols, or half a drachm (3Jc?.), per sitting, 
was sufficient to constitute a tempting gain for the poor 
Athenian. For such a sum they were ready to let their 
tools remain idle, and to hurry to the courts. This was 
particularly the case with the more aged, who were unable 
any longer to perform military service, and who welcomed 
this easy method of making money. Of the country peo- 
ple also, many found in this a compensation for the 
income from their fields, of which the war had deprived 
them ; and thus it came to pass that the great majority of 
the jurymen was composed of persons without means. 
As jurymen they sat out the best hours of the day, most 
agreeably entertained by the excitement of listening to the 
trials, in a comfortable self-consciousness and full enjoy- 
ment of the power given to them by the authority cf the 
Attic tribunals over the life and property of so many 
thousands ; and when the sitting was over (the length of 
which probably depended upon the patience of the jury- 
men), their three obols would furnish them with a bath 
and a meal by way of refreshment after their public 
duties. It is easy, therefore, to understand the gratitude 
displayed by the Athenians towards the author of this 
increase of pay. Cleon was the hero of the day, the 
favorite and benefactor of the people, the honored patron 
of the law-courts ; and in proportion as the Athenian love 
of litigation, which Cratinus had already laughed at, 
increased, the power of Cleon rose. For the discovery 
had long been made of taking advantage of the law-courts 
for party purposes, by subjecting eminent men to capital 
indictments. But not until now did the activity of the 
'Sycophants' attain to its full height ; a class of men arose 
who made a regular trade of collecting materials for 
indictments, and of bringing their fellow-citizens before 
a legal tribunal. These denunciations were particu- 
larly directed against those who were distinguished by 
wealth, birth, and services, and who therefore gave cause 

Chap. IL] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 121 

for suspicion ; for the informers wished to prove themselves 
zealous friends of the people and active guardians of the 
constitution. But as the defects of the latter became 
more and more glaring, and the tone of the assemblies 
more and more unruly — as the Moderate party continued 
to separate itself farther from the multitude, and the 
educated class to withdraw from public life — the people's 
suspicions were heightened, as well as the fear of treason 
and the terror of auti-constitutional attempts ; intrigues 
and conspiracies were suspected in all quarters, and the 
popular orators persuaded the citizens to put no confidence 
in any magistrate, envoy, or commission, but rather to 
settle everything in full assembly, and themselves assume 
the entire executive. The Sycophants made their living 
out of this universal suspicion, and took advantage of it 
to raise their own importance. Young and unknown men, 
partly not even of Attic descent, ventured unblush- 
ingly to attack the most venerable men in the city, who 
had fought against the Persians, and had grown gray in 
faithful service of the state. Thus Athens lived to see 
the disgraceful sight, that Thucydides, the son of Melesias, 
who after the dissolution of his party had renounced all 
political conflicts and loyally served the state of Pericles 
— that this venerable veteran of the Athens of Cimon 
was, in the decline of his old age, brought before the 
popular tribunal and sentenced ; an event which aroused 
the just ire of the poet Aristophanes. The trade of the 
Sycophants was moreover carried on from motives of 
shameless love of gain : they threatened prosecutions in 
order thus to extort money from guilty and innocent 
alike ; for even among those who felt free from guilt were 
many who shunned a political prosecution beyond all 
other things, having no confidence in a jury, since it was 
so often influenced by passion, and generally decided 
according to its own interest. 

Of this Sycophantic art Cleon was himself a master, 

122 History of Greece. [ b °ok IV. 

The power of and it served him as one of the most effec- 
tive means for establishing his power. It 
furnished him with opportunities for removing all who 
appeared dangerous to his ends, for driving away orators 
of opinions opposed to his own, and disgusting them with 
political life. By means of his power over the people, 
and his entire want of consideration for any one else, 
he continued to make himself so universally feared that 
none dared to confront him. The most precious possession 
of the Athenians, liberty of speech, was virtually taken 
away from them. By honest means Cleon was not to be 
opposed ; but he was open to the influence of money, and 
contrived to employ his power so as to acquire considerable 

When he felt himself to be perfectly 
sure of his power, he altered his behaviour 
in a few points. He retired from all association with his 
previous companions, and thus acquired the right of in- 
veighing against all secret combinations for political 
purposes with double vehemence. Nor was his own 
political action of a nature to need this description of aid 
for making it popular ; for, instead of pursuing remoter 
objects, which were only to be gained by a close association 
of the members of one party, he rather endeavored to 
attach the majority of the citizens more and more closely to 
his own person, and for this purpose most skilfully to take 
advantage of every single question of the day. If we 
are at all justified in speaking of any policy, in the higher 
sense of the w T ord, as having been pursued by Cleon, it 
w T as no other than this, that he endeavored to create an 
irresistible succession of difficulties in the way of a 

* As to the date and effects of the increase in the rate of judicial 
pay, see Meier u. Schoemann, An. Proz. p. 136 ; Boeckh, P. E. vol. i. 
p. 313 (E. Tr.). As to the case of Thucydides : Sauppe, Be Cans. Mag- 
nit. &c. p. 22 ; Droysen ad Ar. Ach. 702. As to Cleon's mode of en- 
riching himself: Meier, Op. Acad. i. 192. 

Chap, ii.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 123 

peaceable termination of the war with Sparta, and of the 
filling up of the breach between the Greek states. But 
while a statesman devoted to such political principles 
should have above all been careful to strengthen in every 
possible way the powers of the state, to economize its 
resources of war by means of a prudent administration, 
and to add security to the foundations of its power, Cleon 
was careless as to the performance of any such duties as 
these. Nay, he to such a degree weakened Athens by 
raising the pay of the dicasts in the midst of the heaviest 
pressure of the war, that an annual public expenditure of 
about 150 talents (£ 36,570) was hereby occasioned, 
necessitating the employment for this purpose of part of 
the tributes. Thus the finances fell into worse and worse 
confusion; and the consequence was, that less and less 
regard was paid to a just and kind treatment of the allies. 
Instead of their leader, Athens had become their mistress, 
and now became their despot. "When Cleon cast all con- 
siderations to the winds in this matter, and helped to 
make arbitrary forced levies of money more frequent, 
until, when money was wanting, actual predatory expe- 
ditions were even undertaken into the territory of the 
allies, the real foundations of the Attic power were 
shaken for the sake of obtaining momentary advantages, 
and the state was at the same time more and more deeply 
involved in the dangers of the disastrous war. Cleon was 
assuredly aware of the real situation of affairs ; but, far 
from expounding its dangers to the citizens aud claiming 
corresponding exertions and sacrifices, as was the duty of 
a conscientious public leader, he deceived the citizens as 
to the power of the state, and tempted them to enjoy its 
revenues, and the advantages of their absolute sway. He 
kept alive their enthusiasm for the war by representing 
the defeat of the enemy as certain, and a new increase of 
their advantages and enjoyments as equally sure. Pro- 
phecies were communicated to them which spoke of the 

124 History of Greece. L b °ok IV. 

conquest of the entire Peloponnesus, and of a judicial 
pay of five obols, as destined to be derived by the Athe- 
nians from Arcadia.* Such was the policy of Cleon, in 
the pursuit of which he stood in no need of the assistance 
of political associations, since his ideas were in themselves 
eminently to the taste of the multitude. 

But the circumstance that Cleon broke 
Contrast be- U p n j s former political connections was 

tweon Pericles , . . . , . n 

and Cleon. also due to a wish on his part of appearing 

before the people with superior self-assu- 
rance and consciousness of power, and of marking the 
difference between himself and those who had formerly 
been his equals as the opponents of Pericles. He had 
himself caught more than one peculiarity of Pericles, 
which he now imitated after his own fashion. On the 
orators' tribune, indeed, he was in all respects the perfect 
antitype of Pericles. For while the latter had confronted 
the people with immovable equanimity, and in the full 
fervor of his eloquence preserved harmony of voice and 
perfect composure, so as even never to allow the folds of 
his cloak to become disarranged, Cleon, when speaking, 
was seen to move vehemently up and down the tribune, 
and to gesticulate with both his arms, throwing his robe 
in all directions, and exerting the strength of his loud 
voice to the utmost of its powers. Pericles presented to 
his fellow-citizens a type of calm, because in all questions 
he called upon them calmly to reflect ; Cleon felt most at 
home when the populace was in a state of feverish ex- 
citement, to stimulate and increase which he employed all 
the means at his command. Pericles always kept in view 
the question itself, while Cleon's art consisted in advancing 
his individual authority by means of personal attacks and 
passionate vituperation. Pericles' endeavor was to 
influence his hearers by reason alone, and to remove the 

* Ar. Eq. 797, Schol. 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 125 

influence of vague sensations ; Cleon took advantage of 
the credulity of the multitude for vehemently agitating it 
by means of exciting announcements of every description, 
particularly prophecies, fictitious oracles, &c. The more 
deeply the passions of the populace were roused, the surer 
was the influence he wielded over it, the more fully he 
realized his position as the born representative of the 
multitude, amidst whose shouts his own voice made itself 
heard with the consciousness of triumph. 

But, in spite of this contrast between himself and 
Pericles, Cleon was sagacious enough to make use of 
those means also, of which he had himself observed the 
effectiveness in the case of his predecessor. Herein he 
proved his extraordinary skill, that, instead of always 
speaking as the people wished, like a crafty slave, igno- 
rant of any other way of ruling his fitful master, he now 
and then told them veiy plain truths, and occasionally con- 
trived with great success to strike the note of the eloquence 
of Pericles. For this he found a particularly favorable 
opportunity in the affair of Mitylene. 

When the prisoners were brought in, the 
multitude was actuated by no other feeling J* Mit^ne 3 a8 
than that of a thirst for vengeance, which 
rendered all rational reflection impossible. The chief 
object of its resentment was Salsethus, with regard to 
whom no man dared to urge a word of pity, or a con- 
sideration of reason, although it would have been ex- 
tremely advantageous to detain this noble Spartan as a 
hostage, the more so as he even held out hopes of saving 
the Platseans, if his life were granted him. He was im- 
mediately put to death. The fate of the Mitylenaeans 
was discussed in the civic assembly, and various proposals 
were put forward. Some advised a gentle method of 
treatment ; others demanded that all the male inhabitants 
of the island capable of bearing arms should be put to 
death, and the rest of the inhabitants sold into slavery. 

126 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

The former of these opinions was advocated by Diodotus, 
the son of Eucrates, and the spokesman of the Moderate 
party , and it is unintelligible how, notwithstanding the 
passionate anger which possessed the Athenians, the con* 
sideration that at Mitylene the governmental party had 
alone excited the revolt, while the majority of the popu- 
lation had taken no part in it, and had even from the 
moment when they had arms in their hands forced the 
government to treat with Athens, could fail to impress the 
Attic community and determine their resolution. But the 
contrary was the case. Cleon had given out the word of 
order, that martial law ought to prevail with absolute 
severity. A second similar revolt might annihilate the 
dominion of Athens, and the advantages 
Summary judg- t h ence accruing to the citizens. Hence a 

ment decreed. ° 

terrible example must be made, and all the 
Mitylenaeans treated with equal severity. This motion 
was passed, and without further delay the trireme, which 
lay in readiness in the Pirseeus, was despatched with the 
necessary instructions to Paches. 

Scarcely had the assembly separated, 
Reaction m the w } ien a reac tion became observable in pub- 

pubhc feeling. l 

lie opinion. Many, who during the full 
and turbulent meeting had lacked courage or power to 
follow the voice of their own conscience, were now, when 
taken singly, accessible to calm considerations, and terri- 
fied at their participation in so dreadful an act. The 
leaders of the minority took advantage of this reaction of 
feeling; the Mitylenaeans present at Athens as envoys 
zealously co-operated with them ; and they thus succeeded 
in persuading the Prytanes to summon another assembly 
on the following day, although it was against the princi- 
ples of Attic political law to take a second vote on a sub- 
ject once settled by a decree of the people. This re-open- 
ing of the discussion at the same time con- 
peec stituted an attack upon the omnipotent 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 127 

influence of Cleon ; who was, accordingly, obliged to 
bring into play the whole force of his eloquence, in order 
to maintain in force the first decree, and at the same time 
to take advantage of this favorable opportunity for assert- 
ing himself as the defender of the laws ; representing the 
reaction against his motion as mere weakness and vacilla- 
tion, and decrying those who laid special claim to the 
character of more highly educated persons as misleaders 
of the people. Here, he cried, was a fresh proof of what 
he had so often stated, that a democracy was utterly 
incapable of ruling over other states ; for nothing could be 
more absurd than to treat foreign affairs in the kindly 
fashion habitual in the intercourse of fellow-citizens. The 
people ought to have sufficient courage to renounce all 
good-natured delusions. The dominion of Athens in the 
Archipelago was a dominion of force, while the so-called 
allies were nothing else but enemies lying in wait for their 
opportunity ; in this case compassion and consideration 
would fall on a sterile soil ; and the worst of all qualities 
were weakness and vacillation. The laws, he continued, 
wisely forbade the re-opening of discussions once closed — 
but what did the Athenians reck of usage and laws? 
For that they were, forsooth, far too clever and highly 

On the other hand, it would be the state's gain 
if its citizens manifested less cleverness and more obe- 
dience to its laws ; it was better to have imperfect laws 
and obey them, than the best laws and leave them unexe- 
cuted. " I am always the same," he said — (evidently 
appropriating to his own use a phrase which had frequently 
created a strong impression when proceeding from the lips 
of Pericles) — " but ye Athenians allow yourselves again 
and again to be unsettled as to what ye have already 
rightly perceived, because ye listen to the speeches, as if 
ye were sitting in the theatre ; and it is the art of the 
orators, and not the situation of affairs, which engages 

128 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

your attention. The Mitylenaoans have without any cause 
ventured upon the most pernicious revolt. Hence anni- 
hilation would befall them as a well merited punishment. 
Kind-hearted compassion will only result in a second 
revolt and a fresh loss of life and money; and if in this 
they prove victorious, your most deceitful enemies will 
make you an evil return for your kindness." 

This well-calculated speech, which appa- 

dJtus Ch ° f Di °" rentl y lectured tne people, but in reality 
only flattered its savage thirst for vengeance 
and its feelings of hatred, was manfully and firmly 
answered by Diodotus. Not in phrases borrowed from 
the eloquence of Pericles, but in the spirit of that states- 
man, Diodotus, rising with his subject, declared the salva- 
tion of the state to be based upon moderation in speech, 
and those who urged the people to unreflecting acts to be 
the foes of the commonwealth : inasmuch as their counsels 
were of such a nature as to shun any closer examination, 
and as they had recourse to insolent calumniation and 
cunning detraction in order to drive from the tribune all 
statesmen opposed to them. Diodotus declared himself to 
have no intention of defending the Mitylenseans, or of 
working upon the tender emotions of the people. Nor 
was the affair to be looked upon as a case of law, but as a 
political question, into which hatred and passion should 
not he allowed to enter. The point at issue was not an 
isolated case, but the entire policy of the state, and an 
agreement as to the best line of conduct which it could 
adopt in future. Cleon's theory of creating terror was 
absurd and impolitic. Unmeasured severity, instead of 
preventing farther revolts, would only tend to make resist- 
ance more desperate, repressive measures more costly, and 
the ruin of the allies, upon whose prosperity the Attic 
power was after all founded, more complete. By allowing 
hatred and passion to sway the policy of the state, the 
party now favorable to Athens would be everywhere 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nieias. 129 

estranged from her ; justice and generosity alone could 
prevent further revolts. 

Amidst immense excitement the vote was 
taken by show of hands, and a small Moderltef tbe 
majority decided in favor of Diodotus. The 
Moderate party had this time broken the terroristic influ- 
ence of the vehement demagogue, and freed the conscience 
and honor of the city from a tremendous burden of guilt. 
But it was now all-important that the new popular decree 
should not fail to take effect in favor of the condemned 
Mitylenseans. The danger was great ; for the vessel bear- 
ing the sentence of death had a start of twenty-four hours. 
Everything that could be done was done. The Mity- 
lenrean envoys furnished the crew of the second ship with 
supplies, promised them large pecuniary rewards, and thus 
induced them to row without stopping during the entire 
journey to Lesbos. The weather was favorable ; the crew 
of the first ship had fortunately been less eager ; and thus 
the message of grace succeeded in arriving in time, and 
saving the life of a multitude of many 
thousand innocent Mitylenseans. Even as of ^"yiene? 01. 
it was, the war ended sanguinarily enough ; ixxxviii. l. (b.c. 
for the number of those executed as guilty 
amounted to more than a thousand.* It included every 
one of those who as a limited body of citizens had held 
the government of the city in their hands ; and by it per- 
ished the entire aristocracy. The island was treated as 
the prey of victory ; all ships of war were delivered up, 
the fortifications destroyed, the landed property of all the 
towns of the island, with the exception of Methymna, was 
confiscated and partitioned into 3,000 lots of land, 300 of 

* Cf. Herbst ubi supr. p. 13. The severity of Cleon (Thuc. iii. 37, f.) 
is based on the principle that every Demus is responsible for its govern- 
ment. The noble-hearted Diodotus is known to us from his speech 
(Thuc. iii. 42-48), in which the historian has established an everlasting 
monument for him. Doom of Mitylene, ib. 50. 


130 History of Greece. [ BooK Iv - 

which were assigned as a tithe to the gods, the remainder 
being distributed among Attic citizens. The former pro- 
prietors, however, remained on their ground, and paid to 
the new proprietors an annual rent Of two minse (over 7Q. 
Part of the Athenians remained in the island as a garri- 
son ; the rest returned to Athens, and there drew the rents 
of their lands beyond the sea. 

The only thought which consoled the 
Peloponnesians for the fall of Mitylene, and 
the humiliation thence befalling themselves, was the 
expectation of the imminent capture of Platsese. Two 
hundred Plataeans and twenty-five Athenians had remained 
*n the city, and held their ground for part of the summer. 
But now their last provisions threatened to come to an 
end, nor was there any prospect of relief. It may, indeed, 
well be asked, why the Athenians did nothing to save the 
brave Platseans who, trusting solely to the promise of 
federal aid, had rejected all the advantageous offers of 
Archidamus? The Athenians could dispose of a land- 
force of 13,000 heavy-armed troops, and were every year 
able to invade Megara : could it have been impossible for 
them at all events to have saved the citizens, even if forced 
to leave in the hands of the enemy the territory of the 
city ? In point of fact, the inactivity of the Athenians 
can only be accounted for by the circumstance, that they 
were turning their attention more and more exclusively to 
the sea, and had thus wholly outgrown the habit of 
making any resolute attempts by land. No standing land- 
army, it must be remembered, was in existence ; hence for 
every expedition a favorable state of public feeling and 
urgent necessity were requisite ; moral obligations, as they 
existed in the case of Platsese, coming to be less and less 
regarded in democratic Athens. To this must be added 
the effect of the unfortunate experiences made in Boeotian 
campaigns ; and doubtless the Thebans, for their part, had 
done everything in their power to throw obstacles in the 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 131 

way of a rescue, and to secure the victims in their grasp. 
Finally, the Athenians may have felt convinced that after 
the capitulation of the city they would find a speedy 
opportunity of ransoming the brave Plateaus out of the 
hands of the Spartans ; for on what grounds could they 
assume that the Platseans would be dealt with otherwise 
than as prisoners of war ? At the same time it admits of 
neither explanation nor excuse, that in the treatment of 
the Mitylenseans, and particularly of Salsethus (p. 117), 
no regard whatsoever was paid to the fate of the Platscans, 
who for a period of ninety-three years had with unexam- 
pled fidelity and self-sacrifice under the most difficult 
circumstances adhered to the Attic alliance. 

Meanwhile the enemies who thirsted to slake their 
vengeance after capturing the city had, during the pro- 
tracted siege formed plans of a kind which had been 
hitherto thought impossible even in these times of war. 
These plans were now to be carried into execution. 

An assault upon the walls convinced the 
besiegers that the starved-out garrison was piat^ nder ° f 
incapable of offering any resistance. At 
the same time they abstained from effecting an entrance 
by force, but sent a herald to demand surrender ; for even 
now the pretence was to be kept up of the city having 
voluntarily joined the Peloponnesian cause. It was 
intended to make sure of the possession of Platsese, even 
in the event of future treaties imposing the restoration of 
all towns taken by force of arms. A solemn promise 
having been given that no harm should be illegally done 
to any person, the city surrendered. A judicial court was 
hereupon actually set up, consisting of five Spartans, sent 
from Sparta for the purpose : among them was Aristo- 
menidas, whom we know to have been a partizan of the 
Thebans. The others were probably much the same. 
For the entire judicial procedure amounted to nothing 
but a base mockery of all principles of right, an un- 

132 History of Greece. [ Bo0K IV - 

worthy farce, which Thebes and Sparta had insidiously 
agreed to play with the lives of the unfortunate prisoners. 
Instead of being examined, as according to martial law, 
they were simply asked whether during the course of the 
war they had conferred any benefit upon the Peloponne- 
sians and their confederates — the well-known question of 
the Spartans (p. 24), based upon the principle invented 
by them, that whosoever was against Sparta must be 
accounted guilty of treason against the common 

This method of examination of course 
Negotiations completely undeceived the Platseans. Yet 

as to the fate of ., ... , , . n „ 

the Piatseans. they still attempted the influence of speech. 
s , Lacon (whose very name recalled the inti- 

Lacon. mate family relations existing between 

Sparta and Platoere, and dating from the 
time of Pausanias) and Astymachus were their spokes- 
men. They were able not only to insist upon the services 
rendered by their city to the common country, but also 
to refer to the aid which they had afforded to the Spartans 
in the war of the Helots ; they reminded the Spartans 
how it was in accordance with the directions of the latter 
that the Platseans had concluded their alliance with 
Athens; while their state of enmity with Thebes had 
originated in a Theban attack, undertaken in the midst 
of peace and, which was worse, during a festive season. 
They pointed out to their judges the graves of the 
ancestors of the Spartans, who rested in Platsean ground, 
and who were annually honored by sacrificial offerings of 
fruits of the Platsean soil. These sacred services would 
be abolished and the graves of the heroes desecrated, if 
the allies of the Medes were to hold sway within the 
Platsean boundaries. They urged upon Sparta the duty 
of preserving her good name among the Hellenes : and 
lastly, they recalled the memory of the last solemn agree- 
ment ; for if, instead of being judged in accordance with 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 133 

the treaties, they were to be sacrificed to the vengeance of 
their foes, they would prefer to return behind their walls 
and there die ot hunger. 

Never probably was a just cause more 
worthily pleaded; and although the sen- T *&™* otthe 
tence had been settled long before this mock 
judicial procedure was commenced, the Thebans were 
notwithstanding afraid that the speech might not fail to 
make an impression. Accordingly after their enemies, 
contrary to the original agreement, had been allowed to 
speak, they demanded the same concession, and put 
forward a speaker who was to prove the claims and 
charges of their adversaries equally worthless. The 
Theban attack upon Plataese, he was made to say, had 
been proposed by eminent citizens of that state, and had 
been merely intended as a pacific mode of recalling the 
rebellious community to its duty. For the subordination 
of Plataese under the capital of the country was the nor- 
mal condition of affairs ; Platsese being a daughter-city 
of Thebes (thus in this instance also colonial obligations 
were insisted upon), and her secession accordingly an act 
of revolt. By their unnatural adherence to a foreign 
city the Platseans had become dependent upon Athens; 
hence their conduct during the Persian war had been no 
merit of their own : and equally little could the Thebes 
of the present day be made responsible for the conduct of 
the Thebes of the past. All these events belonged to 
other times, since which the entire state of affairs had 
been inverted. For since, in the place of the Persians, 
the Athenians had come forward as the enemies of Greek 
liberty, the- Platseans had consented to associate them- 
selves with Athens in every act of injustice against Greek 
states, against iEgina, &c. The honorable -deeds the Pla- 
tseans had performed under compulsion, their deeds of 
shame of their own free will ; while the Thebans were 
making every sacrifice to withstand the Attic policy of 

134 History of Greece. l BooK IV « 

conquest, and had at Coronea restored the independence 
of Central Greece. Sparta, the guardian of legal right, 
would be able to appreciate this, and, undisturbed by ora- 
torical phrases, without feeble weakness, accord to the one 
state the acknowledgment she had deserved, and inflict 
upon the other the punishment incurred by her conduct. 

This speech is particularly remarkable, because in it no 
recognition is made of the existence of two parties in the 
war with equal rights ; the Peloponnesian theory of the 
war is thus in this instance carried out to its logical con- 
sequence ; viz., that a voluntary accession to the Athenian 
alliance is punishable as an act of revolt against Hellas 
and of treason against federal obligations. Federal loy- 
alty towards Athens is simply interpreted as participation 
in her guilt. 

This speech completely effaced the im- 

th?pia"»al!s. 0f P ress * lon created by its predecessor. The 
01. lxxxviii. 2. Spartans had no intention of rejecting a 

(b c 427 ) . . 

view of the relations between the different 
states so advantageous to, and yet not advanced by, them- 
selves ; and they assumed the responsibility of the deed 
of blood which Thebes' desire of vengeance cast upon 
them. The entire judicial procedure recurred to the first 
question ; whether the accused could prove that they had 
conferred any advantage upon Sparta and her confeder- 
ates : and as it was impossible for any one of them to 
answer this question in the affirmative, all the 200 
Platseans, together with the 25 Athenians, were put to 
death before the eyes of their foes. The women were sold 
as slaves. The city and its territory were delivered up to 
the Thebans. who for the present settled in it members of 
their party from Megara, or who had formerly been 
citizens of Plataese.* Later, the entire city, excepting the 
sanctuaries, was razed to the ground, and travellers who 

* Thuc. iii. 52-68. 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nlcias. 135 

passed that way, found in the desert region no other 
dwelling than an inn connected with a temple of Here. 

Meanwhile the Spartan fleet, on its flight 
(p. 117) from before the Attic guard-ships, , The Spartans 

. o i > determine upon 

had drifted as far down as Crete, and only intervention at 
gradually reassembled on the Peloponnesian 
coast, where a new task awaited it. The Spartans were 
desirous of taking advantage of the armaments now at 
hand, to throw themselves-, at a time when the attention 
of Athens was directed to the regions of Asia Minor, with 
great rapidity upon the opposite side of the sea, which 
was momentarily free from the presence of any hostile 
power, with the exception of a squadron of twelve men- 
of-war at the naval station of Naupactus. For this 
purpose Brasidas was joined in command with the in- 
capable admiral at the head of the fleet. It was beyond 
a doubt Brasidas who had persuaded the authorities at 
Sparta to resolve upon these measures, and who had, for 
the same purpose, effected an understanding with the 
Corinthians. For the latter again proved themselves the 
Diily Peloponnesian state which pursued a definite policy 
w r ith energy and sagacity, and which contrived to make 
use of every advantage previously gained. They still 
had in their power as prisoners, from the time of the 
Epidamnian war, 250 Corcyraeans of note ; and far from 
sacrificing these, after the fashion of the Spartans and the 
Thebans, to a savage desire of vengeance, they had used 
every endeavor to secure the adhesion of these men, to 
foster in them sentiments of aversion to Athens, and to 
point out to them the community of interests between the 
Corcyraeans and Peloponnesians , and as soon as they had 
felt certain that the prisoners would serve them as instru- 
ments of their policy inCorcyra, had dismissed them unhurt. 
At the same time, the Corinthians had apprised Sparta 
of the political revolution imminent at Corcyra, and had 
urgently demanded its support by means of the fleet. 

136 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

In Corcyra, in the meantime, the conclu- 
Party conflicts s i on f an alliance with Athens had been 

at Corcyra. 01. 

lxxxviii. 2. (b. accompanied by the rise to power of the 
democratic party : a state of things which 
increased the energy of the dismissed prisoners-of-war, 
who belonged to the families of the wealthy capitalists 
formerly in power, and with whose class-interests those of 
the Peloponnesians coincided. They went from house to 
house, in order to gain over their fellow-citizens ; the 
whole community became violently agitated ; in all the 
streets and squares of the city political questions were 
eagerly debated ; and when an Attic and Corinthian 
trireme simultaneously arrived in port, both with deputies 
of their respective states on board, it was resolved, in the 
presence of these emissaries, that, although the treaties 
with Athens should be kept up, at the same time amicable 
relations should be resumed with the Peloponnesians. 
The fate of Mitylene had naturally awakened serious 
fears, and the citizens of Corcyra w r ere accordingly 
extremely anxious to secure the most independent position 
possible between the belligerent parties. The measure 
resolved upon, however, remained nothing but a half- 
measure, which neither admitted of being carried out, nor 
was capable of satisfying the partizans of Corinth. They 
were accordingly obliged to resort to more stringent pro- 
ceedings for overthrowing the party in power. The latter 
was headed by Pithias, the proxenus of Athens, who was 
a member of the council, and the most influential states- 
man at Corcyra. He w r as accordingly indicted of trea- 
sonable intrigues with the Athenians, to whom he wished 
to deliver up the island ; but he contrived to clear 
himself of all suspicions. Nor was he content with this, 
but hereupon in his turn attacked five of his wealthiest 
fellow-citizens, the leaders of the opposite party, charging 
them with having caused timber to be cut in the sacred 
woods to serve as poles in their private vineyards. The 

Chap. IX] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 137 

five were sentenced to a fine, and the mitigation for which 
they prayed in its payment was refused to them. This 
event amounted to a defeat of the entire party, of which 
Pithias was resolved to take advantage for the conclusion 
of a thorough alliance with Athens, in place of the 
previously existing treaties, before the time had arrived 
for him to resign his seat in the council. Hereupon his 
opponents resorted to measures of violence ; armed with 
daggers, they took possession of the council-hall, put 
Pithias and a great number of his official colleagues to 
death, and then appeared before the people to justify their 
deed as a necessary way of preserving Corcyra from im- 
minent servitude. The ancient policy of neutrality was 
now to be revived, and foreign vessels were henceforth 
only to be allowed to enter the ports one at a time ; and, 
simultaneously, the government despatched envoys to 
Athens, who were there to give the most favorable coloY- 
ing to the events which had taken place. 

But this rule of terror on the part of the aristocrats, 
whose courage rose on account of the presence of the 
Corinthian trireme, was of a very brief duration ; their 
deed of blood could be neither palliated nor buried in 
oblivion. The entire civic community separated into two 
hostile camps. The nobles occupied the market-place, 
which was surrounded by their dwellings and warehouses, 
as well as the harbor lying opposite the mainland, whence 
they expected the arrival of auxiliaries ; while the people 
occupied the citadel and the other harbor. Either side 
secured the services of the slaves, the majority of whom, 
however, joined the popular party ; while the nobles 
strengthened their ranks by mercenaries from Epirus ; and 
even the women in fanatical frenzy took part in the con- 
flict which burst forth in the midst of the city. For the 
multitude advanced upon the market-place, which, 
together with its vicinity, the aristocrats in self-defence set 
on fire. A large amount of mercantile goods was con- 

138 History of Greece. C b <>ok IV. 

sumed by the flames, and when the popular party gained 
the upper hand, the Corinthians took their departure, and 
the mercenary troops retired. 

In their place, Nicostratus now arrives with the twelve 
triremes and 500 Messenians from Naupactus. By his 
desire the civic feud stands still ; the ten instigators of the 
revolution, who had already taken flight, are sentenced to 
death, and Corcyra received into the Attic alliance. In 
order to give security to the democratic government, 
Nicostratus declares himself ready to leave behind five of 
his ships, taking with him in their place five Corcyraean 
vessels. To man the latter, citizens of Corcyra are 
selected, every one of them being known as hostile to the 
Athenians. These citizens refuse to go on board, in the 
firm belief that nothing is intended short of delivering 
them up to the vengeance of the Athenians. They fly 
from one sanctuary of religion to another. The fury of 
the populace rises day by day, and the interference of the 
Athenians alone prevents another massacre. 

At the moment of this terrible crisis the 
fleet of Alcidas and Brasidas at last appears 
in sight, intended, according to the plan of the Corinth- 
ians, to co-operate in the overthrow of the government of 
Corcyra (p. 136). In uncontrollable terror, the citizens 
rush on board the ships ; without having duly prepared 
them for battle, and without a definite plan of operations, 
deaf to the advice of the Athenians, they sail out, ship by 
ship, to meet the enemy. The consequence was, that the 
battle ended unfortunately for them ; thirteen vessels were 
captured, and the rest saved only by the fearlessness and 
imperturbable calm of Nicostratus, against whom the 
Spartans could effect nothing, notwithstanding their vastly 
superior numbers. The whole city was filled with terrible 
apprehensions, and its situation was indeed critical, in case 
Alcidas had sufficient spirit to follow the advice of Brasidas 
and immediately attack the city. Instead of adopting 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 139 

this course, the admiral uselessly landed troops on the 
southern part of the island, thus losing his golden oppor- 
tunity ; for in the following night the fiery signals became 
visible which heralded the approach of a large fleet. It 
was the fleet under Eurymedon ; who immediately upon 
the receipt of the news of the events at Corey ra had set 
sail from Athens with sixty ships. Hereupon, the sole 
anxiety of Alcidas was directed towards safely effecting 
his escape, and his hasty retreat finally decided the affairs 
of Corcyra. 

The terrors through which the citizens 
had passed now changed with furious rapid- f t n co r f c th r l feudS 
ity into the most cruel desire of vengeance. 
Of the aristocrats who had fled into the Herseum, fifty 
were persuaded to appear at a conference, and hereupon 
immediately killed ; those who had remained on the sacred 
ground put one another to death. For seven days the 
unchained fury of party hatred raged upon the island, 
and rose higher and higher as the effusion of blood con- 
tinued ; the savage nature of the islanders displayed itself 
in all its grossness, and the participation of so many libera- 
ted slaves helped to bring about a spectacle of horror 
such as Greece had never before seen. All the evil pas- 
sions of human nature were let loose. On the pretence 
of punishing anti-popular attempts, all were massacred 
upon whom it was possible to cast suspicion ; debtors rid 
themselves of their creditors, and children laid hands upon 
their fathers. Domestic ties were no longer of avail, and 
all religious restraints were at an end. And yet the 
popular party was unable to achieve a complete victory. 
Five hundred resolute members of the opposite party 
entrenched themselves on the mainland, cut off the sup- 
plies of the city, and afterwards even made their way 
back to the island, burnt the ships, and established them- 
selves on the hill of Istone, whence they levied blackmail 
upon the flat country around. 

140 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

Thus, even this enterprise upon Corcyra, 
warfor U s tS r/ti he so cunningly prepared by Corinth, had 
resulted in failure in the hands of the 
Peloponnesians, no less than the naval expedition in aid 
of Mitylene; on either occasion the right moment had 
been missed; in either case nothing but shame had 
befallen their arms, and the party upon which Sparta had 
founded her hopes had been involved in the utmost misery, 
nay, even, to all intents and purposes, annihilated. 
Neither had six campaigns on land, notwithstanding the 
extraordinary losses inflicted upon Athens by the pesti- 
lence, effected aught beyond the destruction of the little 
town of Platsese. The Spartans had merely incurred a 
loss of reputation, and impaired the confidence placed in 
them ; all their promises had remained unfulfilled, and all 
their exertions ended in failure.* 

One result alone of the war admitted of 

of^h° e r war eSUltS no doubt, an( * tnis was tne horribly rapid 
progress of the demoralization of the Hel- 
lenic nation. All the evil elements of human nature, 
hitherto kept in bounds by religion, conscience and reason, 
broke forth without restraint or shame. For as the Hellenes 
knew of no universal code of humanity, their morality 
was principally based upon their political and national 
obligations. The feeling of a fraternal tie united all who 
spoke the same language, followed the same usages, and 
worshipped the same gods, and every Hellene was justi- 
fied in expecting nothing but kindness from every member 
of his nation. The rupture of this bond undermined the 
entire morality of the nation, and took away the basis of 
the due observance of duty. The feelings of enmity 
which had provoked the war had been fearfully heightened 

* As to the Corinthian party at Corcyra : Thuc. iii. 70. Nicostratus : 
ib. 75. Eurymedon : ib. 80. Moral effect of the party struggles : ib. 82 f. 
{Tta/*a Idea KaicoTponCas, Kal to evr)des, ov to yevvaiov nKelvTov fieTe'xei, KarayeKaaOh 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 141 

during its course. The pious abhorrence against shedding 
Hellenic blood had been as it were extinguished. Even 
when no motive of profit or advantage existed, prisoners 
were sacrificed to a pitiless lust of revenge ; and, con- 
trasted with the acts of the Spartans, who on their inglori- 
ous passage along the coast of Asia Minor put to death 
defenceless inhabitants, and then after full deliberation 
destroyed the entire remnant of a Hellenic communit}'', 
and who even endeavored to conceal their shameful viola- 
tion of their oaths under the hypocritical forms of legal 
and religious proceedings — contrasted with such acts, even 
the exasperation of the Athenians at the traitorous revolt 
of their allies assumes the character of an act of human 
weakness, while their speedy repentance deserves a kindly 

But henceforth the feelings of mutual enmity extended 
in a constantly widening sphere, and the great division 
among the Hellenic nation repeated itself in every com- 
munity. For although at the beginning of the war the 
position of the Spartans was a very favorable one, yet 
they had been anything but successful in securing the full 
sympathies of the Hellenes ; while, on the contrary, in 
eveiy community where any political activity existed, a 
Lacedaemonian and an Attic party confronted one another 
with increasing bitterness. Nor was this opposition con- 
fined to political matters alone, but it attracted into its 
sphere every other element of hatred, envy, and malice 
existing in the communities, all selfish craving, all discon- 
tent arising from the ruin of domestic relations ; the upper 
and the lower classes, the poor and the rich, opposed them- 
selves to one another ; and the rupture penetrated deeper 
and deeper into relations of both a public and domestic 
nature, till the parties, formed from motives so manifold, 
obscure and half-understood, were arrayed agaiust one 
another in so bitter an enmity, that the interests of the 
commonwealth were completely disregarded in compari- 

142 History of Greece. I b ^k iv. 

son with those actuating each particular party. The 
citizens lost their patriotism ; and as the virtues of the 
Hellenes were rooted in the public life of the state, the 
character of the entire nation underwent a radical change 
— all the more so, inasmuch as the sense of family and 
religious obligations was unable to prevent the dissolution 
of civil life. Free vent was given to the passions, and 
gradually the standard of morality came to be utterly 
changed. The virtues of the Hellenes fell into dis- 
regard ; and what had formerly been admired was now 

Peaceable and cautious habits of mind were now re- 
garded as stolid imbecility, moderation as cowardice and 
intellectual indolence, reflection as selfishness, conscientious- 
ness as foolish simplicity ; but reckless hatred, on the other 
hand, as manly courage. Men were esteemed according 
to the success attending their undertakings : hence the 
violation of promises and deceit met with approval so 
long as they advanced the interests of the party ; the use 
of any and every means was allowed to ambition, and 
party association was regarded as a stronger bond of union 
than many years of friendship, or than the ties of grati- 
tude or blood. 

Of this demoralization of society the events at Corcyrn 
offered a warning example; here the symptoms of the dis- 
ease which had seized upon the national life of the Greeks, 
and spread like an epidemic from city to city, manifested 
themselves in all their fulness; and reflecting minds 
among the men of the age were horrified to realize to 
themselves the crisis which the history of their nation had 
reached. Herodotus* left his work incomplete at this 
period since the hopes with which it was undertaken were 
so little fulfilled. Thucydides, with firmer spirit, with- 

* After the close of B.C. 428 Herod, added nothing more to his work/ 
Kirchoff, A bf. dt Herod. Gesch. 29. 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 143 

stood the sad experiences, and did not shun the melancholy- 
view which the history of the time was compelled more 
and more to present. 

After the slow course of military and 
naval operations in the first five years of the t ^l war> 01. 
war, signs began to show themselves in its SPIT***" 2 * ^ c,c ' 
sixth summer of more extensive under- 
takings and of more decisive events. Either party sought 
for new bases of operations, and in either state characters 
of superior vigor attained to positions of greater influ- 
ence. Sparta recognized the value of Brasidas : Athens 
gradually recovered from the effects of the pestilence, 
after the latter had once more (in 01. lxxxviii.. 2 : r. c. 
427) lain heavy upon the city ; and the representative of 
the new and bolder spirit which arose was Demosthenes, 
the son of Alcisthenes. 

Attica owed the fact of being herself spared another 
invasion to an earthquake which frightened back the 
Peloponnesians already assembled at the Isthmus. These 
agitations of the earth affected the whole of Central 
Greece, and, particularly in the narrow sounds of the 
sea, along the shores of Euboea and the opposite coast ? 
inflicted manifold damage by causing inundations. The 
Peloponnesians, therefore, endeavored to compensate 
themselves for the abandoned invasion of Attica by 
another undertaking. 

The ancient city of Trachis, situate by 
Mount (Eta, in front of Thermopylae (vol. HeSS^Vi! 
ii. p. 308), had been destroyed by the lxxxviii. 3. (b.c. 
(Etsean tribes. Her inhabitants applied for 
aid to Sparta, as connected with their home by primitive 
traditions (vol. i. p. 127). Their application was accom- 
panied by a similar one on the part of the Dorians 
dwelling between Mounts Parnassus and CEta, who were 
exposed to a similar danger. In Sparta, the citizens dm- 

144 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

tinguished by superior foresight, among whom Brasidas 
was doubtless the leading spokesman, perceived and ap- 
preciated the extraordinary advantages of the situation 
of Trachis. It offered a military position than which no 
better could be desired, and important in two different 
directions ; on the one hand towards Eubcea, and the pos- 
sessions and naval stations of the Athenians on that 
island, on the other towards the Thracian colonies, to 
which Brasidas devoted particular attention. The 
Delphic oracle bestowed its blessing upon the undertaking, 
although this military station was by no means in agree- 
ment with its ancient policy of colonization ; and thus a 
vigorous effort was made without further delay. A pro- 
clamation was issued to the entire Greek population, with 
the exception of the Ionians and Achseans, inviting them 
to take part in the re-foundation of Trachis ; and the city 
was accordingly, under the name of Heraclea, re-built, 
surrounded with walls, and provided with fortified naval 
docks. The power of the Dorians seemed to regenerate 
itself in the ancient seats of their race, and the Athenians 
found themselves seriously threatened at the most dan- 
gerous points of their foreign dominions Meanwhile the 
young city was beset by difficulties. It was exposed to a 
continuous series of hostilities on the part of the Thessa- 
lians, while the Spartans, by abuse of their official au- 
thority and by generally unskilful conduct, helped to 
injure their own creation, so that the Athenians were 
spared the necessity of exerting themselves to meet the 
danger threatening them from this quarter.* 

They were thus enabled to execute with a 

to^atTa^agrt d ° ,lble meaSUre ° f vi g 0r theif 0WD P knS 

01. ixxxviii. 3. for extending their power by both land and 

sea. Nicias, whose influence had after the 

fall of Mitylene been increased by the victory of the 

* Trachis : Thuc. iii. 92 ; Diod. xii. 59. 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 145 

Moderate party, had in the course of the same summer 
successfully carried out an expedition to the island of 
Minoa, which together with Nissea formed a coast-station 
of the Peloponnesians, and had to be carefully watched 
from Salamis. For the sake of greater security Nicias 
wished to have in his power the port of Megara itself, and 
for this purpose built a fort on Minoa. In the following 
year (01. lxxxviii. 3 ; b. c. 426) he led a squadron of 
sixty ships to Melos, in order to force this island, import- 
ant on account of its situation and harbors, to join the 
Attic alliance ; for since the Peloponnesians possessed a 
navy, it appeared doubly necessary to allow no hostile 
power to exist in the ^Egean, and to round off more com- 
pletely the limits of the naval dominion of Athens. But 
it was found impossible to force Melos to join the alliance, 
and Nicias rapidly turned to the Sea of Euboea, disem- 
barked his 2,000 hoplites near Oropus, and in the territory 
of Tanagra effected a junction with the Attic land-army, 
which was invading Bceotia under Hipponicus (p. 87) 
and Eurymedon. The Tanagrseans, together with the 
Theban auxiliary troops, were defeated. This was an act 
of vengeance against Thebes for Platsese, which rudely 
disturbed the Boeotians in the midst of their fancied 

Less confined in their scope were the 
plans pursued by Demosthenes and his Demosthenes ° f 
squadron, who had set sail at the same time 
as Nicias. Demosthenes was a man who seemed well 
adapted for supplementing the operations of his colleague 
in office. He was distinguished by a bold and far-reach- 
ing intellect ; he was equally spirited as a general and 
statesman, inexhaustible in counsel and full of new ideas. 
He clearly realized the fact that Athens could never con- 
quer by means of her citizen-soldiers alone, but that she 
must learn to put her allies to a better use. His warlike 
ardor was directed equally against Thebes and against 

140 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

Sparta ; he was the first Athenian tactician who under- 
stood how to take advantage of the different circumstances 
of the ground, of the seasons of the year, and of the vari- 
ous component parts of an army ; he was the first who 
learnt how to make good use of light-armed troops, and 
who in his strategical plans displayed a talent for combi- 
nations, such as war alone could mature. Unaffected by 
occasional mishaps, he was able to inspire the troops with 
his own courage, and tc acquire their confidence ; and the 
private soldier felt that he had far more in common 
with Demosthenes than with Nicias and his reserved 

The thoughts of Demosthenes were bent upon the 
western scene of war. Following the example of Phormio, 
and by means of the good understanding existing with the 
brave and enterprising Naupactians, as well as of a com- 
bination with the Acarnanians and Corcyrseans, he intended 
to destroy the power of the Corinthians in the western 
regions, and to secure to Athens a body of allies on the 
mainland, which she had lost since the Thirty Years' 
Peace. Thus it was Demosthenes who revived the ancient 
policy of Myronides and Tolmides (vol. ii. pp. 439-450) ; 
and we are probably justified in assuming, that the shame- 
ful fall of Platsese aroused, in the breasts of many patriots 
to whom the honor of the city was dear, the thought that 
an urgent necessity existed of strengthening the power of 
Athens on land, and that the army composed of her own 
citizens was no match for the enemies on her borders. In 
order to oblige the Acarnanians, Demosthenes in the first 
instance, with the aid of the other western allies, made 
war upon the Leucadians, whose sentiments were favorable 
to Corinth, and whose territory, half island, half main- 
land (for by cutting through the land the Corinthians had 
in former ages converted Leucas into an island), very seri- 
ously endangered the political position of the Acarnanians, 
The island was devastated, and the population forced to 

Chap. II. J The War to the Peace of Nicias. 1 47 

crowd within the walls of the fortified city. The Acar- 
nanians hereupon demanded that a siege should be imme- 
diately commenced, the city being incapable of holding 
out. But Demosthenes had no wish to throw up trenches 
and walls, particularly as the Acarnanians must have been 
disinclined to allow an Attic garrison to establish itself 
here. Instead of entertaining this proposal, his ardent 
mind was attracted by the scheme suggested to him by 
the Messenians, of reducing to submission the JEtolian 
people, by whom the safety of Naupactus was continually 

This great people had hitherto taken no part whatever 
in Greek conflicts, and its country had remained, or rather 
had become, perfectly strange to the Hellenes. For ori- 
ginally, it will be remembered, the iEtolians belonged to 
the same race as the Locrians and inhabitants of Elis 
(vol. i. p. 133) ; but immigrations from the north had bar- 
barized them, and utterly estranged them from Greek 
civilization : they spoke an unintelligible dialect, and 
dwelt in a loose union of districts devoid of walled cities, 
in habitations scattered from the banks of the Achelous 
up to the vicinity of Thermopylse. Demosthenes hoped by 
means of a rapid advance to prevent any combination on 
the part of the tribes, and the scope of his plans went far 
beyond the object immediately in hand ; for he calculated 
upon the favorable sentiments of the Ozolian Locrians 
and their neighbors the Phocians ; and in his mind's eye 
saw himself already at the head of a vast army of hosts 
of the mainland, formed by the populations of a united 
Western Greece, with which he thought he would be able 
from the direction of Parnassus to invade Boeotia, where 
he might without a levy of Attic citizens, overthrow the 
power of Thebes. 

* Enterprise of Nicias and Demosthenes : Thuc. iii. 94 f. 

148 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

Demosthenes very greatly undervalued 
in ^Ua he o e i! tne difficulties of an ^tolian campaign ; 
lxxxviii. 3. (b. his trust in the fortuDe of his arms was so 
blind, that he would not even wait for the 
arrival of his Locrian auxiliaries, nor take warning from 
the fact that the Acarnanians, incensed at his disregard 
of their wishes, withdrew their aid from him. After 
obtaining a few successes he advanced as far as ^Egitium, 
which lay at a distance of nine miles from the sea. Here 
already his troubles commenced. The iEtolians, who dis- 
played signs of a far more united action than had been 
expected from them, had occupied the heights with large 
numbers of soldiers, and inflicted most serious damage 
upon the Athenians without entering into a regular battle 
with them. Demosthenes stood in need of light-armed 
troops for defending himself against the enemy's archers. 
In the end, nothing remained for him but to beat a 
speedy retreat. This, however, involved him in further 
calamities. The Naupactian who had acted as guide had 
fallen. After passing through morasses, trackless, hilly 
country, and burning forests, Demosthenes effected his 
return to the coast. His colleague in office, Procles, 
together with 120 citizens, had thus been uselessly sacri- 
ficed. The sole result of the whole campaign was this, 
that the Arcananians were dissatisfied with Athens, while 
the entire iEtolian people, in a state of hostile agitation, 
immediately effected an understanding with Corinth and 
Sparta. It was probably the Corinthians who were here 
again quickly at hand, in order to turn the condition of 
things to their own advantage. They, we may believe, 
stirred up the iEtolians, and made hated Naupactus the 
goal of an undertaking which was called into life with 
great rapidity. For, before the summer had come to an 
end, a Peloponnesian force of 3,000 heavy-armed troops, 
including 500 from the newly-founded city of Heraclea, 
assembled at Mount Parnassus. A proclamation issued 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 149 

from Delphi summoning the Locrians to join the Peloponne- 
sian confederation ; the Locrian towns sent hostages ; and 
the power of Sparta in the heart of Central Greece was 
greater than ever. The mighty confederate army ad- 
vanced in the direction of the Gulf of Corinth, and the 
safety of Naupactus hung in the balance. Fortunately, 
Demosthenes had remained behind in that port, having 
very prudently hesitated to show himself at Athens, after 
the failure of his iEtolian campaign. The Acarnanians 
once more became his allies, and thus Naupactus was 

When the summer was drawing to a close, the great 
Peloponnesian army stood on the banks of the Achelous, 
without any object or plan of operations to determine its 
further movements. But its presence served to kindle into 
new flames the party divisions prevailing in the surround- 
ing districts. The Ambraciotes thought it incumbent 
upon them to take advantage of this opportunity for 
striking a blow against their ancient enemies, the Am- 
philochians and Acarnanians (p. 74). They occupied 
Olpse, a fortified point on the coast in the Amphilochian 
territory with 3,000 hoplites, directed 2,000 men to follow 
on, while the mercenaries of the neighboring mountain 
tribes were called out Simultaneously the Spartan 
general Eurylochus crossed the Achelous, and successfully 
effected a junction with the army of the Ambraciotes, so 
that the scene of war had now been suddenly transferred 
to the shore of the Ambracian Gulf. 

The Acarnanians rapidly summoned their 
troops to arms, and named Demosthenes Battle of Oipro. 
commander-in-chief. Burning with the de- ( B .c. 426-5. j 
sire of making good his previous defeat, 
notwithstanding that the winter had already commenced, 
he arrived before 01ps3, with twenty triremes and Messe- 
nian hoplites, immediately after Eurylochus. The Pelo- 
ponnesians and Ambraciotes considerably outnumbered 

1 50 Histoid of Greece. [Book IV. 

the forces of Demosthenes; but his superior military 
genius enabled him to take so full an advantage of the 
locality, that he completely defeated the Spartans in open 
battle. Eurylochus himself fell in the fray, and utter 
discouragement seized upon the Peloponnesians, who were 
thus together with the Ambraciotes caught in a net ; and 
they now thought of nothing but saving themselves. 

Of these feelings Demosthenes took ad- 
betwee^Demos^ vantage, and concluded a separate treaty 
tbenes and Me- with the Spartan general Menedaius, by 
which the latter and his troops were al- 
lowed to depart unharmed. Demosthenes thought it 
impossible to obtain a greater advantage than by 
depriving the Ambraciotes, who had so insolently begun 
this contest, of the aid of their allies, and at the same 
time letting all the world see how selfishly Sparta sacri- 
ficed her confederates. Nor could the honor of the 
Spartans have in point of fact suffered more from any 
defeat than from the event which now took place. In 
consequence of this dishonorable compact, the Pelopon- 
nesians took their departure, one by one, from the 
blockaded fortress ; they stole away from their brethren- 
in-arms, and then, when pursued by the latter, ran away 
in open flight. 

End of the war Meanwhile auxiliaries arrived from Ani- 
on the Ambra- bracia, advancing upon the coast through 
Amphilochian territory. Demosthenes avail- 
ed himself of the circumstance of the Amphilochian 
troops being at his disposal, and laid an ambush in the 
pass of Idomene, which completely answered his expecta- 
tions. The entire body was destroyed ; and the blow of 
their double defeat and betrayal by their allies fell so 
heavily upon the Ambraciotes, that their strength was 
utterly exhausted, and their power of resistance at an 
end. Demosthenes wished to take Ambracia itself, in 
order once for all to destroy the influence of Corinth on 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nlcias. 151 

the shores of this important gulf. But the Acarnanians 
prevented him. After the power of their ancient enemies 
had once been broken, the Acarnanians preferred these as 
neighbors to the Athenians. 

A further proof of the jealousy with which the 
Western Greeks resisted the encroachments of the 
influence of Athens is to be found in the speed with 
which they hastened to settle their affairs without foreign 
interference. For, after Ambracia had resigued all 
claims to the Amphilochian territory, a peace, to last for 
a hundred years, was concluded between the Acarnanians 
and Ambraciotes. All border-feuds were to be at an end ; 
either people was to assist the other in case of an attack ; 
this one condition being added, that the Acarnanians were 
in no case to be obliged to send assistance to the Ambra- 
ciotes in the event of a war against Athens, while simi- 
larly the Ambraciotes were not to be forced to assist the 
others against the Peloponnesians. Thus the ancient 
relations were, after all, maintained on either side, and 
thus it could come to pass that, subsequently, the Co- 
rinthians again placed a garrison in Ambracia. And yet 
the effect of the recent successes in the war was immense. 
The Attic troops had once more given brilliant proofs of 
their excellence as land-soldiers ; and before the winter 
was at an end Demosthenes returned to Athens, and 
hung up on the walls of her temples the resplendent 
suits of armor captured by him in his victorious 

In the meantime the minds of the citizens s econ d purifi- 
had been further cheered by a religious cation of Deios. 
celebration. For in the midst of the losses ( B .* c XXV1 425j 
and turmoil of the war it had been deter- Spring. 

* The Messenians at Naupactus represent to Demosthenes, neya fiev 
tlvai to fj.eya pev tu>v AitwAwj/ kcu ftax^ov, olkovv 5e KarH kw/xols, &C, Thuc 
iii. 94 f. — Defeat of the Peloponnesians and Ambraciotes, ib. 100 f., 
105 f. oh. Ullrich, d. Kamp/um Amphilochien, (Hamburg, 1863). 

152 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

mined to offer a solemn testimony of homage to Apollo 
on Delos, — a homage doubtless connected with the com- 
plete cessation of the pestilence, which had lasted as 
long as the fifth year of the war. 

The solemnity consisted in the renewed consecration of 
the entire island to the divine Giver of grace ; all the 
coffins containing human remains being removed from 
Delos, and Rhenea appointed to be henceforth the sole 
burial-place. This solemnity supplemented the act for- 
merly performed by the orders of Pisistratus (vol. i. p. 
383), and it was doubtless in the present instance also 
intended, by means of a brilliant renewal of the Delian 
celebration, to strengthen the power of Athens in the 
island sea, to give a festive centre to the Ionic world, at 
present excluded from the Peloponnesian festivals, and 
thus to attach the Ionians more and more closely to 
Athens. But the main purpose was clearly one of 
morality and religion. It was intended to calm and edify 
the minds of the citizens. The solemn purification of 
Delos was, like that of Athens in the times of Solon (vol. 
i. p. 343), after a period of disturbed and disjointed times, 
to herald a new and better era ; accordingly, the festive 
celebration of Apollo was reorganized, and a new festival 
instituted, to be solemnized every four years ; the ancient 
games of Homeric memory were revived ; and the horse- 
race added to them in honor of the god. It was doubtless 
the Moderate party which interested itself at Athens in 
this matter of Delos, intending vigorously to revive the 
ancient traditions of the people, which had been allowed 
to be more and more disregarded, as well as the sense of 
religion. We accordingly find Nicias taking a prominent 
part in the Delian festival, and it is extremely probable 
that it was at the first celebration of the latter that Nicias 
distinguished himself as the leader of the Attic festive 
embassy (vol. ii. p. 525) by extraordinary magnificence. 
He caused the arm of the sea between Rhenea and Delos 

Chap. II.] The War to Uve Peace of Nicias. 153 

(vol. ii. p. 162), four stadia in breadth, to be bridged over 
in a single night ; so that on the following morning the 
multitude stood amazed to behold a road for the procession 
spread out before their eyes, and adorned with tapestry, 
wreaths, pictures, and costly furniture, along which the 
Athenians passed across to the island. He moreover 
bestowed gift3 of land, dedicated new votive offerings, and 
exerted himself to the utmost to prove to the Hellenes 
that neither had the reverence towards their gods died out 
in Athens, nor were the means wanting for honoring them 

While Nicias sought to quiet the minds 
of men by peace-festivals, Demosthenes Seventh year 
was unceasingly busied with schemes for Summer, 
giving the war a powerful direction ; to him 
its tardy progress, in which the strength and resources of 
the city uselessly consumed themselves, was intolerable ; 
and he sought for new methods of attack for invading the 
very heart of the enemy's power. In this search the 
experience which he had acquired in his western cam- 
paigns was of considerable service to him. He had on 
these occasions specially proved the efficiency of the Mes- 
senians, as well as their spirit of enterprise and unex- 
tinguishable hatred against the Spartans. These emigrants 
had not forgotten their dialect, nor had they forgotten 
their home. In old Messenia remnants still continued to 
exist of the same race ; the country was for the most part 
desolate, for the Spartans had not known how to turn 
their conquest to account ; the entire west coast was 
devoid of inhabitants, and the harbor of Pylus (Bay of 
Navarino), the best in the whole peninsula, neglected, 
uninhabited, and unused (vol. i. p. 243). The idea of 

* These solemnities were celebrated in Thargelion. (Bceckh, Abh. d. 
B. A. 1834, p. 6; Schmidt, Be Vita iWc. 9.) Undertaking against 
Meios. Thuc. iii. 91. 


154 History of Greece, [ BooK IV. 

using these circumstances in favor of Athens accordingly 
suggested itself naturally ; and the intercourse of De- 
mosthenes with the Messenians had doubtless matured in 
him the design of proceeding to measures of force, which 
should place that port in the hands of the Athenians ; 
the domestic power of Sparta being thus attacked at its 
most vulnerable point, and the province of Messenia 
excited to revolt. Demosthenes kept his plan secret. 
But when in the ensuing spring Eurymedon and Sophocles 
were despatched with forty vessels to the Sicilian sea, and 
at the same time commissioned to assist the Corcyrseans, 
who were still subject to dangerous attacks from the 
aristocrats (p. 132), Demosthenes obtained from the 
people permission to accompany the fleet, and during the 
voyage to suggest the occupation of suitable points on the 
coast. When, accordingly, the ships had rounded the 
Southern promontories of the peninsula and were sailing 
along the mountainous coast of Messenia, Demosthenes 
addressed himself to the commanders of the fleet and 
pointed out to them the deserted harbor of war with its 
two narrow inlets, and the promontory of Coryphasium, 
which rises above the northern entrance to a height of 
800 feet, with precipitous rocks commanding the entire 
country around. He proposed to the commanders to 
occupy the heights, which might be fortified with little 
trouble and defended with ease ; the garrison would find 
spring water on the hill ; and he offered himself with six 
vessels to fortify and hold the place. The commanders 
refused to halt. For the daring Demosthenes and his 
adventurous schemes were by no means popular with the 
aristocratic party, to whom he was at the present moment 
doubly odious, inasmuch as he occupied a position as- 
signed to him, contrary to all previous usage, as it were, 
in the character of the trusted favorite of the people. 
The fleet passes on. But a storm breaks out, and 
against their will the commanders are forced to re* 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nlcias. 155 

turn, and to wait for better weather in Demosthenes 
the probably safe harbor of Pylus. De- ixxxviii.*4. (b. 
mosthenes renews his proposals, but in vain. c - 425 *) 
It would be a troublesome task in sooth, he was told, to 
occupy every desolate point on the coast of the peninsula. 
Nor was his proposal supported by the inferior officers or 
the men. But the stress of weather outside continues, 
and, fortunately for Demosthenes, time hangs heavily on 
the hands of the crews. Suddenly they offer of their own 
accord to fortify the hill, and an occasion arises for a full 
display of Athenian activity and handiness. For as they 
lacked all tools requisite for cutting and transposing the 
blocks of stone, they diligently sought among the ruins of 
the rocks and previous edifices for all the necessary 
materials, placed the wet loam upon their backs, holding 
it fast there with crossed hands, merrily ascended and 
descended the precipitous crags, and under the superin- 
tendence of Demosthenes worked so industriously at the 
wall, that in six days the height of the ancient citadel had 
been made capable of defence. The fleet hereupon took 
its departure for Corey ra, Demosthenes being left behind 
in the enemy's country with five ships. 

The Athenians very soon became aware of the salutary 
effects of this bold enterprise : for King Agis, who had 
very recently again invaded Attica (this was the fifth 
Spartan invasion of the country), in consequence of the 
news from Messenia, returned into Peloponnesus after a 
brief stay of a fortnight ; while at the same time the fleet, 
which had been about to make one more attempt to 
support the Peloponnesian party in Corey ra, received 
orders to return in order to put a speedy end to the inso- 
lent attempt at Pylus. Demosthenes from his solitary 
castle by the sea beheld forty-three ships of war entering 
the harbor, while the entire shore filled with troops 
hurriedly sent over from Sparta. But, instead of being 
overcome by fear, he acted with resolute presence of 

156 History of Greece. [Book IV 

mind. After despatching two out of his small squadron 
of ships to summon the Attic fleet to his speedy relief, he 
distributed his little band on the fortifications, and him- 
self, with sixty chosen soldiers and a detachment of 
archers, descended to the shore, where alone danger 
threatened him. For the points favorable for a landing 
were sufficiently entrenched ; and it was therefore only 
necessary to secure the point where on account of the 
shallows it had been thought unnecessary to raise a wall 
higher than that already standing. At this point every 
attempt at landing needed to be warded off; for as soon 
as the enemy could establish a footing on the hill, the 
citadel and its defenders were irretrievably lost. 

The Peloponnesians in the first instance occupied the 
island of Sphacteria, extending between the northern and 
southern inlet of the harbor ; with 420 Spartans, in order 
thus to establish a complete command over the entire district 
of the harbor : and then eagerly rowed towards the unforti- 
fied point on the shore, where the little band of Athenians 
was drawn up in battle array, full of zeal to have these 
intruders quickly punished for their boldness. But here 
they were met by unexpected difficulties. For only a 
small number of ships were able to approach at the same 
time, and even these were incessantly exposed to the 
danger of running aground on the rocky bank. The 
awkwardness of the Peloponnesians and their fear of the 
water contributed to frustrate their chance of success. 
In vain Brasidas inveighed against the timidity of his 
men, in vain he drove his own vessels upon the rocks 
of Coryphasium, and in order to give an example himself, 
descended from the gangway into the surf. Struck by 
the missiles of the Athenians he fell back in a state of 
unconsciousness. The Athenians stood firm as a wall ; 
and after the expiration of two days their adversaries 
instead of continually advancing fresh bodies of troops 
and thus tiring out the little band, gave up the fight, 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 157 

and sent to Asine for timber for siege machines, to enable 
them to renew the attack at places more favorable for a 

The critical opportunity had thus been 
missed. For, during the interval which ha ^bo£of p lus* 
ensued, the Athenians arrived from the 
Ionian Islands with fifty vessels of war — among them 
four Chian ships ; the guard-ships at Naupactus having 
also eagerly joined the expedition to Messenia. Here- 
upon the Athenians offered battle in the open sea, and 
then, penetrating into the harbor by both its inlets, set 
upon the ships of the Peloponnesians before these had 
fallen into line of battle, and drove them up to the shore. 
The Peloponnesians hereupon made one further advance 
— an advance executed with unprecedented ardor, for 
they had of a sudden realized the fact that the lives of 
all the Spartans landed on the island were at stake. A 
terrible naval battle ensued in the harbor, which in the 
end was held by the Athenians ; and, although the land- 
army was continually increased by the arrival of fresh 
troops from every part of Peloponnesus, yet there was no 
possibility of relieving the Spartans, who were so near at 
hand and yet utterly cut off from their friends, or even 
of carrying provisions to the desolate rocky island.* 

When the news of this state of affairs ar- 
rived at Sparta, it was resolved to send the bassy ^pe^ 
authorities of the city themselves to Pylus, »t Athens. 01. 
where they were to treat with absolute c^S.*) 
powers. They found nothing remaining for 
them but to conclude a truce under conditions incredibly 
hard and humiliating for the Peloponnesians, whose 
military and naval forces were present in large numbers 
on this, the shore of their own peninsula. All the 
Spartan triremes, sixty in number, were given up to 

* Demosthenes at Pylus : Thuc. iv. 3.— Fight in the harbor : ib. 14. 

158 History of Greece. [ Bo °k IV. 

Athens for the term of the truce, no concession being 
obtained in return, except the permission of daily supply- 
ing the Spartans on Sphacteria with fixed rations of pro- 
visions ; while the island itself was to remain under strict 
blockade until the question of peace or war had been 
decided at Athens. 

Infinite was the surprise of the Athenians when the 
ships entered the Pirseeus with the news of the successes 
obtained at Pylus, and bearing the supreme authorities of 
Sparta as suppliants for peace. The Spartans really 
desired peace, and had no doubt of being able to obtain 
it. In this hope alone they had consented to the condi- 
tions of the truce. They had come to recognize with 
increasing conviction the endless character of the war ; in 
point of fact, they had reaped from it nothing but shame 
and harm ; nor was there much prospect of any com- 
pensating advantages to be obtained from its future 
course. With their allies they were on bad terms ; 
recently, all their calamities by sea had been followed by 
the rout of their land-troops ; and when at the present 
moment the irreparable loss of 420 true-born Spartans 
was imminent, no further hesitation held them back. 
Moreover this unfortunate event seemed to offer the most 
honorable occasion for consenting to sue for peace : they 
therefore acted without consulting their confederates, 
being desirous of rapidly accomplishing their purpose. 

The speech of the envoys was impressive and convinc- 
ing. They showed how the Athenians could not conclude 
peace under circumstances more favorable to them. A 
sincere and honest peace, they declared, was soonest 
brought about, if no desire were allowed to prevail of 
forcing intolerable conditions upon a defeated enemy, 
which might force him to the resistance of extreme 
despair. The power of Sparta was not broken ; yet she 
desired peace, and would feel sincerely bound to observe 
the obligations of a faithful ally to the Athenians, accord- 

Csap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 159 

ing as the latter acted with generosity and moderation. 
Let them reflect upon the mutability of the fortune of 
war, which they had themselves frequently experienced. 
The result failed to answer the expecta- 

_..,*. Unfavorable 

tion of the speakers, h or the Attic people reception of the 
was so intoxicated with its good fortune gPjg rtan P r0 P°" 
that it deemed all negotiations superfluous, 
and believed the decision of everything to rest in its own 
hands. A measureless insolence of success had seized 
upon the citizens ; and before rational orators could find 
time to resist its effects, Cleon thrust himself forward to 
take advantage of this state of public feeling, and fully 
to re-assert his personal authority ; for he had after all 
been unable to establish a permanent and undisputed hold 
on the guidance of public affairs. 

Notwithstanding the terrorism exercised 

i_ m xl it 1,1 Cleon and the 

by Cleon in the public assembly, an irre- opposition, 
pressible opposition against him existed in 
Athens, which found its most undiluted expression on the 
comic stage. For while Tragedy remained true to her 
vocation of elevating the minds of the citizens above the 
troubles of the past into the domain of the ideal, Comedy 
in these years first attained to her full importance, by 
scourging the foibles of the day, and in the theatre pre- 
serving to the Athenians the freedom of speech which had 
grown dumb on the orator's tribune. On 

, . . . . . . . Aristophanes. 

the comic stage Aristophanes spoke out 
nobly as the champion of the highest interests of the 
state, and not only preached against the decadence of 
morality, by contrasting with one another the ancient and 
modern education of the Athenians, but also attacked 
Demagogy, as it had developed itself in Athens since the 
death of Pericles, directing his onslaughts specially against 
the very root and origin of the policy of Cleon. The 
want of reflection, the frivolous manner of dealing with 
affairs of the highest importance, the abuses of the law- 

160 History of Greece. [Book iv 

courts, the arbitrary conduct of the officials, the shameful 
oppression of the allies (whom in his Babylonians he 
represented in the character of millers' men), — these were 
the evils of degenerate democracy, against which he 
inveighed with so serious an energy that we should have 
to regard him as an equally bad poet and unconscientious 
man and citizen, were we not to believe his pictures to 
have been based upon the reality of facts. His love of 
truth obtained for him the admiration of the allies, who, 
when at Athens, crowded to see the poet who was courage- 
ous enough at public civic festivals " sincerely to tell the 
Athenian people what is right ," and for the same reason 
he was bitterly hated and persecuted by Cleon. After 
the abolition of the law of Antimachus (p. 43) the people 
would not again consent to forego the license of comedy ; 
and Cleon was therefore obliged to find other means of 
revenging himself upon his adversary. Immediately after 
the production of the Babylonians (March 426 ; 01. 
lxxxviii. 2), Cleon indicted Aristophanes before the coun- 
cil, of having, at the great state festival of the Dionysia, 
in the presence of many strangers and allies, in an 
unpatriotic and dangerous manner exposed and derided 
the political course of Athens. But this prosecution failed 
as utterly as a second, in which the demagogue endeavored 
to dispute the poet's descent from citizen parents ; a form 
of accusation much practised by the Sycophantic craft of 
the day. Cleon was accordingly unable to rid himself of 
this burdensome opposition. He was doubly glad to seize 
upon the new opportunity, viz., the arrival of the Spartan 
envoys, for once more asserting himself as the first man 
in the state, and deciding its resolutions. He was ready 
with an answer for the envoys according with the prevail- 
ing state of public feeling. He demanded that the men 
on Sphacteria should one and all be brought as prisoners 
of war to Athens, and that the former possessions of the 
Athenians in the Peloponnesus and in Megaris, Nissea, 

Chap. II,] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 161 

Pegse, Troezene, and in the whole of Achaia, should be 
immediately restored to them. After this had been done, 
the Spartans might fetch home the prisoners and make 
proposals as to a truce, to extend over any period they 
might prefer. 

It might be thought, that in -consequence 
of this answer all further negotiation* would all R t ^ C g °a rta ° n f 
have been brought to a close on the spot ; proposals. 
for even a complete defeat could not have 
imposed worse terms upon the Spartans.* Yet the envoys, 
instead of absolutely rejecting even this answer, asked 
that men might be chosen to continue the negotiations 
with them. For, although the Spartans had no intention 
of regarding the interests of their allies, yet they could 
not possibly in the public assembly agree to concessions 
which in the case of failure would have immediately 
embroiled them with all their confederates. Nothing 
therefore remained for them but to propose the appoint- 
ment of a commission, to which they would communicate 
their offers towards a settlement. Of this proposal Cleon 
took advantage for the most violent invective. At last, 
he exclaimed, the truth was palpable of what he had so 
often pointed out, viz., that nothing which the Spartans 
had brought forward was meant in good faith. Their 
only intention was to effect a secret understanding with 
some of the aristocratic gentry at Athens, in order to 
deceive the simple-minded people; proposals honestly 
meant, and in accordance with law, need not shun the 
light of publicity. Thus Cleon thoroughly achieved his 
object. The envoys took their departure : and thus the 
opportunity of concluding an honorable peace and utterly 
dissolving the entire Peloponneso-Boeotian confederation 
had passed away. The voice of the moderate citizens had 
failed to obtain a hearing, and this most important ques- 

* Spartan embassy : Thuc. iv. 16. Aristophanes' Babylon, acted a year 
before the Aeharn ; cf. Ar. Acharn, 427. 

162 Histoid of Greece. [Book iv 

tion had been settled after the most brutal fashion, and 
with unwarrantable recklessness. 

The war accordingly recommenced in the 
conflict at Py- bay of Pylus, after a pause of twenty days. 

T(b!c] x ^T' Its first event was the refusal of the Athe " 

nian commanders to restore the ships 
delivered up to them. But, notwithstanding this act of 
violence, which it was scarcely possible to excuse on the 
pretence that the Peloponnesians had equally violated the 
conditions of the truce, the advantageous position of the 
Athenians soon underwent a very perceptible change. 
For the surrender of the blockaded Spartans, though 
expected from day to day, failed to take place. They 
had saved a larger quantity of provisions than was sup- 
posed, and the Helots, induced by tempting promises, con- 
trived with great boldness and skill secretly to make their 
way to the island. On the other hand, the Athenians 
began to feel a most painful scarcity of spring water ; the 
duty of mounting guard along the whole circumference 
of the island wore very heavily upon them ; the bad 
season was at hand, their ardor had changed into discon- 
tent, and, instead of the news and full spoils of victory 
hourly expected at Athens, messages arrived which made 
the success of the whole undertaking at Pylus appear 
questionable, and called for fresh troops. 

Thereupon a complete revulsion occurred 
cieon appointed j n pu blic feeling at Athens. The citizens 

to the command x ° , 

at Pylus. were overcome by the bitterest repentance 

on account of their irrational conduct, and 
CI eon had to use every exertion in order to escape a com- 
plete defeat. In the first instance he disputed the truth 
of the news from Pylus ; but when he was called upon by 
the people to obtain information as to the condition of the 
fleet in his own person, accompanied by Theogenes (pro- 
bably a member of the aristocratic party), he replied, 
with much reason, that missions of that kind were a pure 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nlcias. 1(33 

loss of time ; if the generals were meu, they would easily 
be able by one bold blow to put an end to the dauger of 
their position at Pylus. This was merely an insinuation 
directed against Nicias, who filled the office of strategus. 
Nicias hereupon thought it well to take advantage of this 
opportunity of making the hateful demagogue pay the 
penalty of his boastings, and accordingly, in his own 
name and in that of his colleagues, renounced all rights 
to the command, proposing at the same time that it 
should be transferred to Cleon. The latter attempted to 
evade the responsibility ; but the assembly, amused by 
these unusual proceedings, held him fast, so that in the 
end he was obliged to submit; whereupon he very 
speedily recovered his old audacity, promising to bring 
the Spartans to Athens from Sphacteria, or to put an end 
to them there, within the space of twenty days. Cleon 
caused himself to be authorized to take Demosthenes as 
his colleague, whom he knew to have long urged the 
capture of the island by force. 

Fortune favored Cleon in an extraordinary manner. 
For, when he arrived at the fleet, the wishes of the troops, 
who as besiegers had themselves to undergo all the depri- 
vations of a besieged army, were decidedly in favor of a 
determined assault ; in addition to which, the woods on 
Sphacteria, which had hitherto rendered an attack 
extremely dangerous, had in the interval been burnt to 
the ground. Demosthenes had long ago thoroughly 
prepared the plan of the assault : when he therefore, 
through Cleon, acquired perfect liberty of action, and 
when moreover fresh troops, especially light-armed soldiers 
and archers, had at the same time arrived, no further 
delay was allowed to intervene. 

The Spartans had disposed themselves on Surrender of 
the island as in a fortress. On the shore the Spartans on 
they had placed their outposts ; their head- lxxxviii" 4. (b. 
quarters were in the central incline, which Ct 425 *) Au s u8t 

164 History of Greece. [ BooK IV - 

is watered by a small spring. From this part the ground 
rises to the north to the strongest point, the apex of the 
entire island, where with the aid of previous fortifications 
they had thrown up a special entrenchment. After the 
outposts had been overpowered, the troops of Demosthenes, 
distributed in small bands, advanced to the central height, 
plying the pent-up band of the enemy on all sides with 
arrows, stones, and javelins. Resistance was exceedingly 
difficult, by reason of the effects of the fire which had 
recently consumed the wood, and at the same time of 
the intolerable dust of its ashes. 

The Spartans at last retreated to the summit, deter- 
mined for the sturdiest struggle. This point proved 
impregnable. The best part of the day was over, and 
the Athenians were exhausted by the heat of the sun and 
by thirst ; and even Demosthenes was at a loss how to 
proceed. But in this difficulty he was aided by the 
sagacity of his Messenian friends. The latter had dis- 
covered a spot beneath the vertical rock of the northern 
summit where it was possible to climb up even without a 
path. In this way they suddenly took the Spartans in 
the rear ; and when the latter saw themselves attacked in 
both rear and front, they consented to the proposals of 
Cleon and Demosthenes, and surrendered, 292 in number, 
among them 120 Spartan citizens, after having been 
blockaded in the island for a period of seventy-two days. 
They were taken as prisoners to Athens, it being an- 
nounced that they would be put to death in case of any 
invasion of Attica. On the other hand, a body of Messe- 
nians was established in Pylus, whence they undertook 
highly successful raids through the surrounding country. 
In addition to the sufferings arising from these devastations, 
the Spartans were troubled by the insecure condition of 
their own country, and the fear of rebellions at home. 
The Helots began to desert to the enemy, and all the 
troubles of the Messenian wars seemed about to be 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 165 

renewed. Moreover, the entire fleet had been lost ; and, 
with a view to the safety of the prisoners at Athens, it 
was impossible vigorously to employ the land-troops ; 
so that Sparta was restricted to a defensive war which 
promised no glory and no results. But what affected 
her most deeply of all was, that she should forfeit so 
much of the esteem she had hitherto enjoyed among 
the Hellenes. That the descendants of Leonidas could 
surrender, arms in hand, had been hitherto accounted an 
impossibility ; the confidence of the confederates had 
been already thoroughly shaken by the traitorous act of 
Mendaius (p. 141), and the narrow-hearted selfishness of 
the Spartan policy was now a fact manifest to all the 

Under these circumstances, Sparta was 
herself so weary of the war that she opened Cle0n at the 

. . • i * i t> • i height of power 

new negotiations with Athens, liut in the and honors, 
latter city the power of Cleon was greater 
than ever ; he was the hero of the day and the benefactor 
of the city, which he had freed from the pressure of war 
endured through so many years. In memory of his 
military success a statue of the goddess of Victory was 
dedicated on the citadel, and to himself was decreed the 
highest honor which the state could bestow — the right of 
dining at the public cost in the Prytaneum during the 
remainder of his life ; about the same time (from the year 
426) he was also superintendent of the public revenues 
(vol. ii. p. 457) ; in short, he had attained to the height of 
power and honor, was admired and feared by the multi- 
tude, and surrounded, in Tyrant fashion, by a crowd of 
flatterers : he was even allowed to treat the citizens with 
insolence, and, e. g., on one occasion dared, on account of 
a banquet, to adjourn the discussions of the citizens when 
already assembled in public meeting. On the other hand, 
the authority of Nicias had undergone a corresponding 
diminution, not only among his opponents, but also among 

166 History of Greece. [Book it 

his political friends. For the latter could not forgive his 
having so inopportunely resigned his office as general, 
thereby himself occasioning the recent rise of the power 
of Cleon. The party of the Moderates was divided in 
itself and powerless. Sparta's proposals for peace were 
met by a continuous rise in the demands of Athens, and 
the negotiations had to be broken off. * 

On the other hand, the military and naval 
Expedition un( i er takings of the Athenians proceeded 

under Nicias ° _ r 

against Corinth, with increasing energy, attempts being 

01. lxxxviii. 4. i ... ,i * 

(b. c. 425.) made to continue the system of operations 

so brilliantly commenced by Demosthenes, 
and to make conquests in Peloponnesus, and establish for- 
tified military positions there. It was the same system by 
which the Dorians had formerly effected the conquest of 
the peninsula ; and the first point chosen had -actually been 
the station of a Dorian camp. This was the hill of 
Solygeus, situate between Corinth and Epidaurus, at a 
distance of rather more than two miles from the Isthmus. 
An unwalled Corinthian village lay on the height, which 
might easily be entrenched and connected by walls with 
the neighboring sea-shore. Thus it was intended to attack 
the second power also of the peninsula, which had been 
restricted to more and more narrow limits on the sea, m 
its own territory. The plan was bold, and, with a state sa\ 
rich and full of slaves as the Corinthian, promised great 
gain. Nicias landed near Cenchrese with eighty triremes ; 
special transports brought over Attic cavalry, which very 
eagerly took part in the enterprise. Meanwhile a warning 
had reached the Corinthians from Argos, and they had 
hereupon occupied Solygeus. A sanguinary conflict ensued 
in the precipitous country between the village and the sea. 
The victory fell to the Athenians through the valor of 

* Cleon as superintendent of the public revenues : see Ar. Eq. 479 , 
Droy sen, Introd. p. 291. Cf. Boeckh, P. E. of Athens, vol. i. p. 22* 
(E. Tr.). — Cleon at Pylus : Thuc. iv. 30. 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 167 

their cavalry, but the undertaking itself had failed. They 
found a compensation in occupying the volcanic peninsula 
of Methone, which projects from the country of Trcezene 
towards iEgina, and is only connected with the mainland 
by a narrow isthmus. The latter was walled off by the 
Athenians, who thus obtained an excellent military posi- 
tion against Epidaurus and Trcezene, at a point lying 
opposite to the Pirseeus and admitting of easy communi- 
cation with it by means of fiery signals. 
Meanwhile the fleet of Eurymedon and 

, . . . . _ . . . New massacres 

fcopnocles (p. 144) had continued its voyage a t Corcyra. 01. 
to Corcyra, and, combining its action with lx x ^- n ^' 4 * ^ B ' 
with the Corcyrseans, who were still exposed 
to much danger from the garrison of Istone, had taken 
that robbers' nest. The aristocratic partisans who had 
held themselves there surrendered to the mercy of the 
Attic people. But as the naval commanders, w r ho at 
Pylus had been obliged to resign all the glory and honor 
of their victory to others, were unwilling to allow the 
captured aristocrats, the bitterest foes of Attic policy, to 
be brought in triumph to Athens by other hands (for the 
generals were themselves obliged to continue their voyage 
to Sicily), they encouraged the revengeful guile of the 
Corcyrseans, who feared nothing so much as the possibility 
of their fellow-citizens being pardoned at Athens, and who 
therefore deceitfully lured the captains to attempt their 
escape. This attempt was hereupon betrayed to the 
Athenian commanders, and taken advantage of by them 
to declare the sworn agreements to be at an end and the 
protection of Athens forfeited. The entire band of these 
unfortunate men was sacrificed to the fury of the people, 
and put to death, in a massacre surpassing in relentless 
vengefulness all which had previously occurred on the 
island. The wives of the murdered men were sold ha to 
slavery, and, party fury having spent itself upon its last 
victims, quiet was restored — the quiet of exhaustion and 

168 History of Greece. [ BooK *V. 

glutted revenge. These events at the same time extin, 
guished in the Corinthiaos the last hope of ever restoring 
their dominion in the Ionian Sea ; and in order to com 
plete this overthrow of the Corinthian power, the Athe- 
nians before the end of the year, in conjunction with the 
Acarnanians, took possession of the important city of 
Anactorium at the entrance to the Ambracian Gulf. The 
city was colonized anew by settlers taken from all the 
towns of Acarnania.* 

In proportion as the Spartans and their 
of the war. oi. confederates were crippled and restricted in 
Jf^ 1 ! 1 ' 4 * ^ B * tneu * resources, the Athenians steadily 

advanced ; they alone now conducted the 
war on the offensive, and were able freely to dispose of 
their forces, because they had nothing to fear at home; 
and the idea that it was possible utterly to overcome Pelo- 
ponnesus encouraged them in the full vigor of their 
activity to attempt undertakings of an ever-widening 
scope, which at the same time proved them to be well 
acquainted with the enemy's country. 

The island of Cythera (Cerigo), the 

southern continuation of the Peloponnesian 
range of mountains, had always been the part of Lace- 
daemon on which the Spartans could least surely rely, 
because its favorable situation as a commercial country, 
and the mixture which had from ancient times prevailed 
in its population, offered the most obstinate resistance to 
the strict ordinances whereby the Doric system attempted 
to prevent foreign influences from passing the frontier. 
Cythera was always kept under like a conquered country, 
by means of a special governor and a Spartan garrison. 
The wise Chilo had for this reason declared to the 
Spartans that the gods could confer no greater benefit 

* Solygeus: Thuc. iv. 42 : cf Curtius, Peloponnesus, ii. 548. — Corcyra 
Thuc. iv. 46. 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 169 

upon Sparta than by causing Cythera to be swallowed up 
by the sea ; and Demaratus could give no better advice to 
Xerxes than to let the first step in his war against Sparta 
be the occupation of Cythera (vol. ii. p. 349). This 
dangerous coast-island became yet more dangerous, when, 
during the Peloponnesian war, a democratic party arose 
in it, which entered into negotiations with Athens, and 
with Nicias in particular. Accordingly, when, in the 
summer of the eighth year of the war, Nicias landed on 
Cythera with sixty triremes and 2,000 heavy-armed troops 
he succeeded without difficulty in taking possession of 
the two towns of the island, establishing a garrison there, 
and admitting the whole island into the Attic alliance. 
Immediately afterwards the defenceless coast towns 
of Laconia were plundered, and hereupon a landing 
effected in Cynuria, the boundary land between Sparta 
and Argos, which gave rise to great bloodshed. After 
their expulsion from their own island (p. 62) the iEgi- 
netans had been settled at Cynuria, and to them the 
Spartans had handed over the city of Thyrea, intending 
it for a frontier post of their own country. For seven 
years the JEginetans had dwelt here, and were now occu- 
pied, with the aid of the Lacedaemonian troops, in forti- 
fying a well-situated place on the coast, ten stadia distant 
from Thyrea. In the midst of these operations they were 
surprised by the Attic fleet, and as the Spartans lacked 
the necessary courage for aiding in the defence of the 
position on the coast, and instead retreated into the 
mountains, Thyrea was taken without difficulty, and the 
^Eginetans were put to death, or dragged away into 
captivity. Nicias returned home laden with rich spoils, 
having added an important and wealthy island to the 
maritime dominion of Athens. The iEginetan prisoners 
were arraigned before the people, and condemned to 
death as irreconcilable foes of the city. This was a 
bloody act of vengeance for the execution of the 

170 History of Greece, [ BooK IV - 

Platseans, and gave the first example of the punishment 
of political opponents as criminals. The Spartan Tanta- 
lus, who had been taken prisoner together with the 
iEginetans, was placed in the same custody as the captives 
from Sphacteria. The members of the Oligarchic party, 
whom Nicias had brought to Athens from Cythera, were 
distributed among different islands, and for Cythera 
itself an annual tribute fixed of four talents (£975). 
Minoa, Pylus, Methone, and Thyrea having thus been 
occupied, a complete blockade had been established over 
the entire Peloponnesus.* 

After the Athenians had for a time 

Athen i an . _ .. 

schemes of war carried on war against Peloponnesus with 
in Central unvarying success,, their plans extended in 
scope ; they gave ear to the assertion of 
their bold counsellor Demosthenes, that the time had now 
arrived for making a new energetic advance against their 
enemies in Central Greece, and for establishing themselves 
here, as they had done in Peloponnesus, in strong 
positions, whence they might strike decisive blows against 
the allies of Sparta. 

Boeotia was at the present moment the 
Three success- most dangerous, nay, the only dangerous 

ive attacks upon T , 

Boeotia. 01. power. It was extremely important to 
ixxxix. l. (b.c. i so i a t e this country from all connections 
with Peloponnesus, and to use the strength 
which Athens possessed in Western Greece for proceeding 
from different sides, and with all the forces at commaod, 
to humiliate the hated Theban state. For this purpose, a 
favorable opportunity offered itself, in the first instance in 
Megara. This unfortunate little country, among all the 
different parts of Greece, had to suffer most terribly under 
the scourge of the civil war ; and it is in truth impossible 
to understand how this small state could contrive to exist 

* Cjthera : Thuc. iv. 53. 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 171 

after the devastations to which it was annually exposed, 
and under the unceasing blockade of its coasts. But not- 
withstanding all these sufferings, notwithstanding the 
absence of the most necessary provisions of life (for 
Megara had even lost its salt-works since the occupation 
of Minoa), a new conflict of parties arose in Megara 
itself, in consequence of which a number of the most 
vehement aristocrats were driven into banishment. They 
seized upon the western port of Pegse, and hereupon 
prevented the entrance of supplies from this quarter also, 
and themselves helped to devastate the exhausted little 
country. The result was, that a party formed itself which 
entered into negotiation with the two strategi of Athens, 
Demosthenes and Hippocrates the son of Ariphron ; for 
they preferred to see the Athenians in their city to 
re-admitting the exiles. The betrayal of the city was 
prepared with extreme caution ; Attic sailors landed un- 
observed, and, led by Demosthenes, penetrated through 
the gate opened to them in the long walls connecting 
Nissea and Megara. The land-army arrived at the right 
moment from Eleusis ; the Peloponnesian garrison was 
forced to surrender ; and the capital itself would have 
fallen, had not Brasidas (who was engaged in collecting 
troops in the vicinity of the Isthmus) with great rapidity 
assembled an army of 6,000 Peloponnesians and 
Boeotians. The two armies confronted one another on the 
plain, but the Athenians were unwilling to venture a de- 
cisive land-battle for the sake of acquiring possession of 
Megara. The city thus fell into the hands of the exiled 
party, who opened their Oligarchic reign of terror 
by causing one hundred members of the party favor- 
able to Athens to be condemned to death, a sanguinary 
sentence which they were able to bring about by means of 
a public vote. Nissea, which lay little more than a mile 
away, remained Attic ; but the plan of occupying Megaris, 
and thus shutting off the Isthmus, had ended in failure. 

172 History of Greece, [ B <> 0K IV - 

Nevertheless, Demosthenes continued his bold under- 
takings with unabated courage, and in the latter part of 
the autumn, together with Hippocrates, commenced an 
attack on the largest scale upon Bceotia. It was intended 
simultaneously, in the first place, to effect a landing from 
Naupactus on the coast of the country ; again, proceeding 
from the direction of the Parnassus (where the support of 
the Phocians might be reckoned upon), to occupy Chsero- 
nea ; and lastly to establish a fortified position on the coast 
of the Eubcean Sea, in order thus to surround the whole 
of Bceotia with Attic military positions, and gradually 
wear out Thebes' power of resistance, as had been success- 
fully done in the case of Sparta. For this purpose, negotia- 
tions had been opened with the democratic partisans, and 
with all the adversaries of the Theban hegemony ; and 
these seemed to offer a sure pledge of success. But it was 
precisely in these party intrigues, and in the treasonable 
combinations whereby it was now more and more 
attempted to decide all undertakings in the war, that the 
weakness of the plan lay, because they made it necessary 
to communicate the secret to a large number of strangers 
and untrustworthy persons. Thebes had received notice 
of her danger ; and when Demosthenes appeared with the 
Acarnanian allies before Siphse, the port-town of the Thes- 
pieans, he found it fully prepared for defence. The sur- 
prise of Chseronea was similarly frustrated. Moreover, a 
wrong calculation had been made as to time. The inde- 
fatigable Demosthenes had arrived too soon ; so that the 
Boeotians were able, before being attacked on the east side, 
to defend their frontiers against him, and then to direct 
all their forces against Hippocrates. 

The latter had meanwhile summoned to 

Delium forti- his standard all men capable of bearing 

fied. 01. lxxxix. . 

l. (b.c. 424.) arms at the disposal of Athens, including 

resident aliens and foreigners, with the 

intention of advancing by way of Oporus into the territory 

Chap. IL] The War to the Peace of Nlcias. 173 

of the Tanagrseans, and there, on the coast opposite 
Eretria, occupying Delium. Here stood a Temple of 
Apollo close to the shore ; and the place afforded equal 
facilities for communication with Euboea and for establish- 
ing a command over the valley of the Asopus. Besides 
the heavy-armed troops, Hippocrates probably had under 
him 20,000 men, equipped with implements for trench- 
work. All Athens was astir, to aid in striking a decisive 
blow in the long and bitter struggle against Boeotia, and 
to obtain for the Attic power the mastery over the impor- 
tant coast districts of the Asopus. As Delium and its 
temple had fallen into utter neglect and decay, no impiety 
seemed to be involved in its occupation, particularly inas- 
much as this act of violence admitted of subsequent ex- 
piation by a restoration of the sanctuary. On the third 
day after the departure of the troops from Athens the 
work of fortification was commenced ; and on the fifth a 
strong position was in readiness, capable of defence, and 
surrounded by wall and foss, Hippocrates remained in 
Delium, in order to superintend the completion of the 
works ; the army returned, and everything seemed to 
have succeeded according to wish. But meanwhile the 
Boeotians had assembled near Tanagra ; and although 
most of their leaders were averse to seeking a battle 
with the Athenians, who had already reached the frontier 
on their march home, yet the voice of Pagondas prevailed, 
whose turn it was among the eleven Boeotarchs to hold the 
command. He was a Theban aristocrat of resolute energy 
and forcible eloquence. He succeeded in convincing the 
troops that the Athenians ought not to be allowed to quit 
the land before paying the penalty of their insolent in- 
vasion. He contrived at the same time to take advantage 
of this favorable opportunity for surprising the army on 
its homeward march by a flank attack. 

Hippocrates hurried to the army, which had halted at 
half an hour's march from Delium. In the gorges of the 

174 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

Defeat of the mountains the armies met. The Attic forces 

Athenians at 

Delium. (b. c. were numerically equal to the 7,000 heavy- 
424.) Autumn. armed £03^^ . but the main body of the 

light-armed Athenian troops was already far away on the 
way to Athens. Moreover, the advantage of the offensive 
lay with the Boeotians, who were able to prepare the attack 
in secret. A terrible battle ensued. One side remembered 
the victory of Coronea, the other that of (Enophyta. The 
Athenians succeeded in driving back the left wing of the 
enemy, but on the other side the ponderous onset of the 
Theban phalanx, drawn up twenty-five deep, obtained a 
complete victory, so that the general flight drew into its 
vortex even the victorious wing of the Athenians. The 
Boeotians made a most effective use of their cavalry, and 
although the battle had not begun till the afternoon, and 
night favored the fugitives, yet Hippocrates and nearly a 
thousand citizens lay dead on the field. For seventeen 
days they remained there unburied — an unexampled 
event in the history of the war ; for however deeply the 
Greeks had become demoralized, yet the rights of the 
dead had remained sacred in their eyes, nor had any con- 
ditions ever been attached by the victor to the permission 
granted for their burial. But the Boeotians, who were in 
possession of the battle field, refused to give up the bodies 
until Delium had been evacuated, raising the sudden 
pretence of sensitive piety, and deeming themselves justi- 
fied in making this demand in the name of Apollo. This 
loathsome quarrel was terminated by the conquest of 
Delium by the Boeotians, aided by Corinthian auxiliaries. 
The greater part of the garrison escaped from the burning 
fortress to the ships ; but two hundred were made prison- 
ers. Thus the strategical plan against Bceotia* had failed 
at every point, and the triumphant pride of the Athenians 
had met with the most decisive rebuff in the shape of a 

* Boeotian war : Thuc. iv. 76. 

chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 175 

disastrous defeat; for they now perceived what hostile 
powers still remained for them to overcome. 

And now Sparta also recovered courage. The beginning 
of her misfortunes dated from the moment when Brasidas 
was struck down in the harbor of Pylus (p. 156) ; a 
change came over her fortunes when that hero recovered, 
with no other thought henceforth in his mind than that 
of avenging his native city upon her insolent foes. 

Brasidas, the son of Tellis, was, like De- Brasidas and 
mosthenes, one of the men whom the war hls war-pohcy. 
itself had matured into generals, and who had formed 
their strategical policy on the basis of the experiences 
through which they had passed. He was a fervent pa- 
triot, and inspired with a belief in the mission of his 
city to stand at the head of the Hellenes ; but, in direct 
contrast to other contemporary Spartans, he was as reso- 
lute and full of energy as they were impotent and heavy. 
His high sense of honor and his rectitude were those of 
an ancient Spartan, and for this very reason he was a 
decided opponent of the Oligarchic circles out of which 
the Ephors were chosen, and whose polic}', equally dis- 
honest, irrational, and unmeaning, allowed Sparta to 
waste away in failure and shame. He perceived that the 
only mode of conquering a powerful foe was by learning 
from him, and by acquiring those among his qualities 
which ensured success : he was at once a statesman and 
general, like the foremost men among the Athenians, and 
at the same time exercised a command over Hellenic 
speech such as scarcely any Lacedaemonian before him 
had possessed. Although, wherever an opportunity had 
offered itself, he had given brilliant proof of his capacity, 
although he had saved Methone and Megara, and even 
placed the fleet of Athens in a situation of great peril 
(pp. 62, 171, 186), yet in narrow-minded Sparta, as may 
easily be believed, no work had been assigned to him 
befitting his eminence ; he had been only able to be of 

176 History of Greece. [Book I v. 

service on isolated occasions, and in a subordinate capacity : 
yet he ardently longed to put an end to the miserable do- 
nothing policy of Sparta, and to lead her into the true 

His plans were very clear and simple. Sparta must 
come forth from the state of blockade in which she lay, 
and must again advance on the offensive, if she was to 
recover her military honor. Athens itself it was impos- 
sible to attack, on account of the imprisoned Spartans ; 
and this circumstance was in favor of Sparta, who was 
thus forced to adopt a more effective method of attack. 
It was necessary to attack Athens on the territory of her 
allies. This was the lesson taught by the case of the 
Mitylenoeans ; nor was any man better aware of the oppor- 
tunity which had then been lost than Brasidas, who had 
been attached in the command to the incapable Alcidas 
upon the return of the latter from Lesbos. What had 
then been neglected must now be made good, and the first 
opportunity seized of transferring the scene of war into 
the colonial territories of Athens, without at the same 
time allowing the result of the first attempt to depend 
upon a naval battle : in other words, it was necessary to 
make an effort to approach the cities allied to Athens on 
the land side. But for an invasion of territories so re- 
mote, it was impossible to employ an army of Spartan 
citizens : other materials were therefore requisite for this 
purpose ; and these materials Brasidas found in the He- 

The Spartans feared the Helots within their own country 
more than the enemy without, particularly at the present 
time, in consequence of the proximity of the hostile posi- 
tions at Cythera and Pylus. Only a short time pre- 
viously two thousand Helots, all of them young men 
thoroughly capable of bearing arms, had been massacred 
by a shameful act of treason, after their liberty had been 
solemnly promised to them. Such was the mode in which 

Chap, ii,] The War to the Peace of Nlcias. 177 

Sparta requited the faithful devotion of the Helots at 

The shamefulness of these proceedings was fully felt by 
Brasidas; but at the same time he perceived the folly 
committed by the state in recklessly wasting the best 
strength of the country. It was clear to him that this 
strength should be employed beyond the limits of the 
country itself, Spartan commanders being sent with Helots 
and Peloponnesians into the colonies ready to revolt 
against Athens, in order to support their rising, and to 
acquire in their territory the resources imperatively neces- 
sarv for an ultimate victory over Athens. For even the 
most short-sighted Spartan must now clearly see that 
the war could not possibly be decided without a navy. 
Accordingly, after the most recent peace negotiations had 
fallen to the ground, an application had been made to the 
Great King : and during the last winter an envoy of the 
latter had fallen into the hands of the Athenians, who 
had found him armed with powers to proceed to Sparta, 
there to obtain full information as to the intentions of the 
Spartans. An opportunity now offered of accomplishing 
the same object without any loss of dignity. Brasidas 
was personally concerned in the matter. 

Although Brasidas had as yet held no independent 
command, he was known far and near as the only hero 
and statesman whom Sparta possessed. The Corinthians, 
with whom he had been brought into contact (p. 135), had 
doubtless not omitted to point out his merits ; and thus 
even the remote colonies were acquainted with his _ name 
and hoped to obtain assistance from him against Athens. 

Such assistance was at that time pre-eminently needed 
by the towns on the coast of Thrace ; for these still stood 
under arms. Olynthus (p. 16) continued 
to hold out against the Athenians. But Embassies from 

, „ , i i • the Thraeian 

the towns as yet telt unequal to a lasting cities in Sparta, 
resistance, and necessarily assumed that 


178 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

Athens would unhesitatingly take advantage of her pres- 
ent successes, and endeavor thoroughly to establish her 
dominion in Thrace. The fate which then awaited the 
revolted cities might be guessed from the example of 
Mitylene. Under these circumstances it was advisable to 
seek in time for help from abroad. The hopes of the 
cities rested entirely on Brasidas. Perdiccas of Mace- 
donia, the first king of the North who had exercised influ- 
ence upon Grecian affairs, favored their wishes, because he 
happened at the time to be involved in a dispute with the 
princely house of the Lyncestse, and wished to put a speedy 
end to this quarrel with the aid of foreign troops. Accord- 
ingly he also sent envoys to Sparta, who were to urge 
it he despatch of an expedition under Brasidas, and to 
^promise every possible co-operation on the part of the 

No opportunity could have offered itself to the Spartan 
general more entirely in accordance with his strategical 
plans than this. On the Thracian coast the gold mines 
were still unexhausted, and timber for ship-building 
abounded. Here was the best position on the whole coast- 
line of the Archipelago for commencing the construction 
of a fleet ; here was by far the most favorable scene of 
war for operations against Athens ; here remained the 
strongest feeling of independence and the largest amount 
of unbroken strength ; no colonial territory was of supe- 
rior importance to the Athenians, nor would any be 
harder for them to hold, than that on the coast of Thrace. 

Yet, notwithstanding the favorable prospects offering 
themselves in connection with this scheme, it would 
scarcely have met with the approval of the authorities at 
Sparta, had it involved any sacrifices. But as the Chalci- 
dians undertook to supply the troops with provisions, and 
as Brasidas merely asked for an armed force of 700 
Helots, the expedition was sanctioned, however adventu- 
rous it appeared in the eyes of the majority. The risk 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 1 79 

seemed to be small. Some were probably well content 
to let the restless innovator run the risk, together 
with his fine troops, of paying the penalty of his 
foolhardiness ; the others hoped that at best this or that 
position might be gained, which would serve as an 
exchange against the places held by the Athenians, and 
help to ransom the prisoners of Sphacteria ; for the pre- 
vailing wish at Sparta was to obtain peace by the shortest 
possible way. Under these circumstances, Brasidas suc- 
ceeded in realizing the bold stroke of suddenly transfer- 
ring the seat of war from blockaded Peloponnesus into a 
distant colonial territory of the Athenians, where he 
obtained not only liberty of action, but also new allies and 
resources of war. This was the first great and sagacious act 
of Sparta in the entire war, and constituted the commence- 
ment of a new method of conducting it in other regions, 
by other means, and in quite another spirit than hitherto.* 

At the same time, even after obtaining 
the consent of the authorities, Brasidas was Thessaiy. 01. 
still far from his goal, and found obstacles I*** 1 *- *• ( B,c * 


in his path which any other Spartan would 
have deemed insuperable. The first danger met him 
befure he had left Peloponnesus ; for had Megara fallen 
into the hands of the Athenians, he would have been 
forced to come to a stand-still at the Isthmus. But at the 
last moment he succeeded in saving this important posi- 
tion (p. 171), and laying open the road before him. Here- 
upon, while the Athenians were entirely occupied with 
their operations against Thebes, Brasidas, reinforced by 
one thousand men, whom he had procured in northern 
Peloponnesus by payments of Thracian money, continued 
his march through Bceotia to Heraclea (p. 144). Here 
his real difficulties commenced ; for, before reaching the 
territory of his allies, he had to pass through the whole 

* On Brasidas see Thuc. iv. 80. 

180 History of Greece. [Book IV 

of Thessaly. Such a march of troops as this, Greek inter- 
national law only permitted in case the authorities of the 
particular country gave their consent. But the great 
majority of the Thessalian population was well affected 
towards the Athenians, and had recently been unusually 
excited against Sparta by the foundation of Heraclea. 
It was accordingly an act of no little daring to lead a 
small army, whose intention it was to rouse the Attic 
colonies to revolt, through the midst of this unknown and 
hostile country, abounding with warlike tribes. Brasidas, 
however, trusted to the confused state of public affairs in 
Thessaly. For, as at the time of the Persian wars, the 
popular party and the nobles in the several cities continued 
to oppose one another, neither, however, succeeding in 
obtaining a decided and lasting superiority ; the power of 
the ancient families, which, on account of their anti- 
national policy, Leotychides had been commissioned to 
overthrow (vol. ii. p. 405), had up to this time maintained 
itself; and the treasonable proceedings forty-five years 
since of that Spartan king now operated in favor of the 
Spartans. For the party which had in the time of Leoty- 
chides favored the Persians now stood on the side of 
Sparta. Brasidas accordingly effected an understanding 
with this party, which also included the adherents of, and 
the friends on terms of mutual hospitality with, Perdiccas 
and the Chalcidians. They came out to meet the Spartan 
commander as far as southern Thessaly, in order to act as 
his guides through the country. With their assistance 
Brasidas carried out his intentions with so much sagacity 
and resolution, that the population of the country was not 
alarmed until he was about to cross the river Enipeus on 
his way to Pharsalus. The Thessalian bands resisted his 
passage across the river. Parleys ensued. Brasidas con- 
trived to calm the agitation of the population, whom he 
persuaded he had come with no hostile intentions, as, e. g., 
Demosthenes had when invading iEtolia ; his only wish 

Chap, ii.] The War to the Peace of Nlcias. 181 

was to be allowed a free passage through the country, and 
even this he would never desire to secure by force. While 
the Thessalians went home to enter upon further consulta- 
tions, Brasidas, by the advice of his guides, hastened on 
at increased speed, and succeeded in crossing the passes of 
Olympia, before the entire community of the Thessaliana 
had come to a determination as to whether he ought to be 
allowed to pass through their country. 

On his arrival in Macedonia, he soon per- 
ceived that no reliance was to be placed upon Brasidas in 

.~ ,. , .ii i i • Macedonia: Per- 

Perdiccas, who wished merely to use him as a diccas. 
condottiere, by whose aid he might overcome 
Arrhibseus, the chieftain of the Lyncestse, who endeavored 
to maintain their independence in the upper highland 
country. But Brasidas was unwilling to allow himself to 
be involved here in conflcts which were not of the slightest 
moment to him ; nor was it in his opinion advantageous 
to the interests of Sparta absolutely to rid the Macedo- 
nian king of his enemy, inasmuch as the energy of the 
former as an ally would decrease in proportion ; he accord- 
ingly preferred to mediate in the dispute between the 
princes by means of a treaty, although Perdiccas was 
dissatisfied with this course, and immediately withdrew 
part of the promised subsidies. Brasidas, on the other 
hand, obtained perfect liberty of action, which before the 
end of the summer enabled him to continue his march 
straight across the ridge of the Chalcidian peninsula to 
the bay of the Strymon, where lay the cities which had 
summoned him to their aid. 

He first marched before the gates of 
Acanthus, a flourishing town on the Isthmus Thr ace. sidaS ol 
of Mount Athos, which Xerxes had cut ixxxix. 1. (b.c. 
through. But the reception with which he 
here met failed to answer his expectations. His transac- 

XT n j ,i i . n . tions with Acan 

He found that only a minority of the thus, 
citizens was in his favor, and that by no 

182 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

means all the communities were, as he had believed, 
rising against Athens. He therefore simply asked to be 
admitted alone, in order before the assembled citizens 
openly to declare his intentions ; and he then displayed a 
skilfulness of speech which was not less surprising from 
the lips of a Spartan than the speed with which he had 
accomplished his march from Sparta to the Thracian Sea 
had been astonishing in a general of his nationality. His 
speech was addressed not to the Acanthians alone, but at 
the same time to all the neighboring cities. For the 
first time he now unfolded the guiding principles of his 
military and political efforts. It was here in Thrace, he 
said, that the war had first broken out. At that time 
Sparta had immediately promised her assistance to the 
cities ; but hitherto the unexpected course of the war had 
kept her at a distance ; now at last the moment had 
arrived when she made good her promise, and was true to 
her mission of liberating the oppressed colonies. To 
support the Spartans in this endeavor was the duty of all 
Hellenes ; and to them, the Acanthians, the honor had 
been allotted of laying the foundation-stone of the great 
work of liberation. The example of a community so 
influential and so respected on account of its intelligence 
was of great importance. No fear ought to restrain them 
from obtaining honor for themselves by taking part in the 
work ; for he would most solemnly pledge his word to 
them, that his intention was not to overthrow the consti- 
tution, or to deliver over the friends of the people to the 
aristocrats, or in short to proceed to any measure of 
force, but that he would on the contrary respect the 
absolute independence of all civic communities. The 
Spartan authorities had bound themselves to him by an 
oath to this effect. On the other hand, he could not 
consent to see a great national undertaking frustrated by 
the obstinate resistance of individual states, and would 
therefore in the case of a refusal find himself forced to 

Chap. IT.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 183 

adopt hostile proceedings against the city, and by a 
devastation of its territory oblige it with all the means at 
his command to ally itself with Sparta. In this case, 
they would, after undergoing a diminution of their 
prosperity, be forced to consent to what they might now 
accept without suffering any hurt, and even with great 
honor and glory to themselves. Notwithstanding the 
persuasiveness of the speaker and the imminent peril, a 
great difference of opinion prevailed, and the fact that in 
the end the popular vote after all decided in favor of 
Brasidas, was chiefly due to the circumstance that the 
vineyards surrounding the city happened to be ready for 
harvest, and that the citizens could not bring themselves 
to sacrifice the entire produce of the year. Acanthus 
opened her gates to the Spartans. This was the first 
success obtained by Sparta on the Thracian Sea, a success 
deriving additional brilliancy from the very fact that it 
cost not a drop of blood, and due to the confidence called 
forth by the vigor and skill of a single individual. The 
foundation had thus been laid for a new alliance, which, 
in consequence of a prudent and tender treatment of 
foreign rights and the recognition of existing constitutions 
succeeded in attracting the most important positions of 
the naval dominion of Athens to the side of Sparta. 
The example of Acanthus exercised an immediate effect 
upon the neighboring cities, which like her derived their 
origin from Andrus — in the first instance upon Stagirus 
and Argilus. Before the summer had come to an end 
Brasidas commanded the western side of the bay of the 
Strymon. Embassies arrived from many 
towns offering homage to him, and when , Bra s^. aS m ° n 
the winter set in, about the time of the 01. lxxxix. 1. 
defeat of Hippocrates at Delium, Brasidas Winter. 
was able without encountering any resist- 
ance, to advance upon Amphipolis, the colony of Hagnon 
(vol. ii. p. 537), the capital of the entire district, and long 

184 History of Greece. [ BooK IV. 

an object of envy to the lesser neighboring cities, particu- 
larly to Argilus ; for which reason they eagerly assisted 
the undertaking against Amphipolis. 

When the news of the expedition of 
Athens declares Brasidas reached Athens, active steps were 

war against Per- x 

diccas. immediately taken. War was instantly 

declared against King Perdiccas, and 
public attention directed to the protection of the allied 
cities, without, however, rapid and vigorous measures 
being adopted. The courage of the citizens was for the 
moment broken by the calamity in Bceotia; nor could 
they summon up courage to equip a fleet for Thrace at 
a season so near the close of the year, when the north 
winds prevailed. The new danger was indeed perceived, 
but not considered to be sufficiently close to counterbalance 
the prevailing aversion from a winter campaign in Thrace. 
Thus for a time the defence of the endangered coast- 
district was left to two men, who were responsible for the 
entire seat of war, and who yet had so small a force at 
their disposal that they found it impossible effectively to 
counteract the progress of Brasidas. One 
Eucies and f these was Eucles, and the other Thucy- 


charged with dides, the son of Olorus (vol. ii. p. 569), a 
!? e de mv QCe • of near relative of Miltiades and scion of a 

the ihracian 

coast. Thracian royal house. Thucydides was 

himself proprietor of gold mines on the 
coast, married to a Thracian lady, and possessed of con- 
siderable influence in the cities in the vicinity. The two 
commanders had to divide between them the supervision 
of the most important points. Eucles took the command 
at Amphipolis ; Thucydides lay with his seven ships in 
the bay of Thasos. The choice of this station cannot 
have been merely an arbitrary whim on the part of Thu- 
cydides, but must have been determined either by an 
agreement between the two commanders, or by instructions 
from Athens, and is explained by the fact that the mine 

Chap, ii,] The War to the Peace of Niclas. 185 


district opposite Thasos was considered to be in particular 

danger. Its population, as the ensuing events showed, 
was utterly untrustworthy ; the ancient relations between 
Sparta and the Thasians were remembered, as well as the 
desire which the former had evinced for the possession of 
the gold coast (vol. ii. p. 405) ; and doubtless Thucydides 
was believed to be pre-eminently adapted for counteract- 
ing a hostile revolt on that coast by means of his personal 

As to Amphipolis, an increase of its means of defence 
seemed in the first instance unnecessary. For, after all 
the previous experiences of the war, no sudden danger 
cpuld possibly be expected from a small Peloponnesian 
army by a city furnished with arms, and supplies, and 
fortified so strongly by river and walls as was Amphipolis. 
Moreover, it was commanded by an Attic general. Yet 
the Athenians, notwithstanding, deceived themselves, not 
only in reference to the sagacity and energy of Brasidas, 
but also with regard to the citizens of Amphipolis. For, 
of the latter, very few were Athenians, the great majority 
being composed of a mixed population which had collected 
in the new trading town, and neither had attained to any 
firm internal- coherence, nor was altogether devotedly 
attached to the Athenians. Part of this population had 
been gained over by Perdiccas, while another part kept up 
a secret understanding with their compatriots, the revolted 

After, then, Brasidas had entered into an 
agreement with the latter, he advanced with Amphipolis. 01. 
his troops to the Strymon, under the gui- lxxxix - 1- ( B - c. 
dance of the Argilians, whose territory 
touched the river. It was a rough winter's night, during 
which the snow fell, and no one expected an attack. At 
daybreak Brasidas was unexpectedly discovered standing 
below the city by the bridge, the very small body of troops 
stationed there having been easily overcome, The city 

186 History of Greece. [ BooK IV - 

itself was entirely unprepared, a large number of citizens 
immediately fell into his hands, and a rapid attack would 
have at once put him in possession of the city ; yet he 
preferred a more generous method of procedure, and pro- 
posed the most favorable terms to the inhabitants. All 
who were in the city, Athenians as well as Amphipolites, 
were to be allowed to remain or depart, according to 
choice, and none to suffer any hurt. His generosity sur- 
prised the citizens and disarmed resistance; the party 
favorable to Sparta, supported by the relatives of those 
who had been taken prisoners outside the walls met with 
increasing assent ; and Eucles found himself unable to 
hold the city. A few hours after its surrender, Thucydides, 
who had immediately on receiving the news of the danger- 
ous situation of Amphipolis quitted his station, sailed into 
the mouth of the Strymon with his squadron, speedily 
fortified the lower town, Eion, the population of which 
had in its turn begun to entertain thoughts of treating 
with Brasidas, assembled the fugitive Athenians there, and 
defended the place which Brasidas had intended to occupy 
on the following morning. For until he should make 
himself master of Eion, Brasidas had onlv succeeded in 
effecting half of his plan, since as j 7 et he had no command 
over the mouth of the river. The lower road by the 
coast was also closed up as long as Eion remained 

Thus Thucydides was the one commander who at this 
time achieved a genuine success, and who with small means 
at his command frustrated the intentions of Brasidas, when 
the latter already deemed himself master of the Strymon. 
Yet the surrender of Amphipolis drew down upon Thucy- 
dides the anger of the citizens, and drove him into exile. 
He was at that time in the forty-ninth year of his age, 
and henceforth employed his enforced leisure in writing 
the history of the war in which he had hitherto taken part 
in the service of his native city. 

Chap, ii.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 187 

Probably Thucydides was indicted of 

. . . , „ , .,, . , Accusations 

nigh treason and found guilty, though we against Thucy- 
are left in doubt as to whether he was accused ? i , des ' Hls ban " 


of having injured the interest of the state 
by mere negligence or with evil intent. This high-minded 
man, who probably failed to conceal his aversion to the 
prevailing system of the democracy, was naturally unac- 
ceptable to the persons then in power, and it must have 
been an easy task for his influential enemies to represent 
him, who was of noble birth and the relative of foreign 
princes, besides being a wealthy landed proprietor in 
Thrace, as a bad patriot, and to take advantage of the 
discontent of the citizens for the purpose of inflicting an 
injury upon him. 

Thucydides himself, who is his own historian as to this 
epoch of his outward life, has with severe self-restraint 
done nothing to free himself from the suspicion of well- 
founded blame. He merely states that Eucles has been 
appointed to keep watch over Amphipolis. With these 
words Thucydides briefly and simply discharges himself 
of all responsibility as to Amphipolis: for it was not 
possible that in the rapid succession of events one man 
could simultaneously keep in view the situation of affairs 
on the Strymon and in the bay of Thasos. If accordingly 
blame attached to either of the generals, it was to Eucles, 
whose duty it w r as to inquire into the state of feeling in 
Amphipolis : he allowed himself to be completely taken 
by surprise by Brasidas, although no doubt could exist as 
to the designs of the latter ; he most strangely neglected 
to entrench and cover with a sufficient body of troops the 
most important point, and that which at the same time 
admitted of the easiest defence, viz., the bridge over the 
Strymon. This point might certainly have been held till 
other troops arrived.* Nor did the revolt of the citizens 

* See NoteVI. Appendix. 

188 History of Greece. C BooK IV - 

ensue until Brasidas had entered into negotiations with 
them and held the hostages in his hands. 

The fall of Amphipolis made the deepest impression 
upon friend and foe alike. A blow had been inflicted 
upon x4.thens at her most vulnerable point ; her weakness 
had been laid bare and her dominion over the coasts 
shaken. Only very recently, Eupolis had, in his comedy 
of The Cities, brought before the eyes of the proud Athe- 
nians the whole series of the tributary allied towns. Now 
the wreath was torn asunder, and one of the most impor- 
tant colonies of Athens, established on a soil purchased at 
so vast a cost of life, had been lost only thirteen years 
after its foundation (vol. ii. p. 537), a city which was the 
pride of Athens, which produced considerable revenues, 
supplied the capital with timber for ship-building, and com- 
manded the communication between Eastern and Western 
Thrace, between Macedonia and the Hellespont.* 

„ , Even now Brasidas had no thought of 

Further con- _ , ° 

quests of Bra- resting for the winter, but wished to take 
Sldas immediate advantage of the favorable con- 

01. ixxxix. juncture, in order to establish himself as 
' (b.c. 424-3.) firmly as possible in Thrace before the ar- 
rival of hostile ships. He accordingly, ac- 
companied by his new allies, amongst whom were bold 
partisans well acquainted with the country (of their num- 
ber Lysistratus of Olynthus deserves special mention), 
undertook an expedition against the towns of the " Acte." 
This is the name given to the tongue of rock most to the 
east, the apex of which is Mount Athos — a rocky district 
resembling the Maina of the present day in Laconia, 
where, notwithstanding the sea around, very primitive 
habits of political and social life had continued to prevail. 
For here the Chalcidians formed only a small minority of 

* Eupolis' " UoAeij " was acted about the time when the Spartans trans* 
ferred the scene of war to Thrace. Cf. Meineke, Fr. Com. Att. ii. 509. 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 189 

the population, the majority belonging to pre-Hellenie, 
Pelasgian tribes, which had partly been driven into these 
rocky seats from the southern shores, from the regions of 
Lemnos and Attica, and had partly immigrated from the 
north out of the districts of the Bisaltse and Edoni. The 
entire peninsula, in accordance with its natural formation, 
contained none except small towns, which were at the same 
time mountain towns and seaports. Most of them opened 
their gates to Brasidas on his approach ; Sane alone 
(situate in the neighborhood of Acanthus on the canal dug 
by Xerxes) and Dion remained true to the Athenians. 

Brasidas next continued his march to the He takes Tor- 
central of the three peninsulas, the Sith- one * 
onian, in order to take Torone (vol. i. p. 456.) Here lay an 
Attic garrison, and a couple of guard-ships kept watch 
over the harbor. The inhabitants were occupied in repair- 
ing the fortifications ; but, before they had accomplished 
their object, Peloponnesian partisans had called upon Bra- 
sidas to make his appearance, and seven men of his army, 
furnished with daggers, and sent on by him in advance, 
had been secretly admitted into the city. Meanwhile the 
general himself approached at night-time ; two gates on 
opposite sides of the city were opened from within ; and 
the whole surprise was so effectively managed, that the 
enemies unexpectedly entered the city in two directions, 
raising a loud war-cry, before the garrison had been ap- 
prized of the existence of any danger. The Athenians re- 
tired to the fastness of Lecythus, which lay on a peninsula 
jutting far out into the sea; and here, notwithstanding the 
ruined condition of the fortifications, rejected even the 
most favorable offers of the enemy. For the first time 
Brasidas was obliged to resort to force, and endeavored by 
the promise of ample rewards to incite his men to attempt 
an assault. This was beaten back ; but the break-down of 
a wooden tower, erected on weak foundations, caused so 
much consternation among the besieged, that the majority 

190 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

of them took refuge on their ships. Brasidas ordered those 
who had remained behind to be put to death, and the en- 
tire place to be cleared of its rubbish and walls, and to be 
consecrated to the goddess Athene, who from ancient times 
owned a sanctuary there. To her he ascribed his unex- 
pected success, and to her temple he presented the sum 
which he had designated for the bravest champion. Thus 
he showed himself munificent and attentive to the goddess 
of the country, unlike the Athenians, who violently 
turned foreign sanctuaries into military stations. The re- 
mainder of the winter he devoted to settling the affairs of 
the cities gained by him, and to putting them in a state 
capable of defence in case of a siege ; for with the arrival 
of the spring the full forces of Athens were to be expected 
in these waters. Brasidas therefore unceasingly applied at 
Sparta for an increase of his forces; nor could any man 
have urged a better-founded claim upon acknowledgment 
and aid on the part of his native city. 

While the Spartans, unable to stir in their 
Character and peninsula, had lost the control of their own 

value of his sue- - i i i • 

cesses. coasts and trembled at their own slaves, 

their general, without sacrificing either 
the lives of citizens or exhausting the pecuniary re- 
sources of the state, had suddenly obtained new and un- 
wonted honors for their city. In her name he settled tho 
disputes between Macedonian princes, imposed the obliga- 
tions of oath and duty upon one coast town after another, 
constituted one of the most essentially important colonies 
of Athens the centre of a federal empire rapidly extending 
its limits, and commenced, on the Strymon, the construc- 
tion of a fleet, upon which, as Histiseus had attempted in 
former times (vol. ii. p. 189), he proposed to found a naval 
power in these regions. My rein us, the capital of the 
Edoni, on Mount Pangseum, the Thasian colonies on the 
mainland which Thucydides had held in a state of subor- 
dination, and other towns on the further side of the Stry* 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 191 

mon, where the golden treasures of Thrace offered them* 
selves, did homage to him, partly by open acts of revolt 
against Athens, partly by means of secret messages ; one 
town endeavoring to anticipate the other in offering her 
services. In Chalcidice itself Athens was confined to the 
western peninsula. In Brasidas, his native city was looked 
up to and admired, for her capability in training such citi- 
zens as himself. It was believed that at last Sparta had 
risen to the occasion, in order to appear in the character in 
which the Hellenes, long disappointed, had expected to see 
her stand forth in the beginning of the war — that of an 
unselfish, just, and energetic state, pursuing no other object 
than the restoration of their independence to the Hellenic 
communities. Solely as the representative of Hellenic 
liberty, Brasidas called upon the Athenians to give up the 
property of the allies forcibly occupied by them, and 
treated even the Athenians themselves with gentleness, 
provided they consented to retire. From this point of 
view he also demanded that the partisans who opened the 
gates, of towns to him should be regarded, not as traitors, 
but as voluntary instruments towards the liberation of the 
Greeks, and as meritorious patriots. In the pursuit of this 
equally sagacious and energetic policy he occasioned an 
entirely new phase of the war towards the close of its 
eighth year , and for the same reason courageously awaited 
the opening of the new campaign, believing himself justi- 
fied in counting upon vigorous support. 

But in Sparta, as well as in Athens, views prevailed 
wholly different from those of Brasidas. In Sparta the 
feelings of aversion from himself personally had been aug- 
mented, instead of being altered, by the glory of his 
achievements, and his success pleased only in so far as it 
promised well for the policy of peace. For the latter poli- 
cy had continued to prevail incessantly since the battle of 
Pylus ; since which date nothing higher was kept in view 
than the acquisition of advantages which might be used 

192 History of Greece. [^ook iv. 

for the purpose of exchange. About the same time, then, 
when Brasidas, as it were, re-commenced the war, and 
published his manifestoes announcing the liberation of the 
Greeks, which was now to be at last made a reality, the 
Spartans themselves had thoroughly sickened of the strug- 
gle, were ready to renounce all schemes of a national charac- 
ter, and, according to the selfish policy of a state composed 
of noble families, to sacrifice everything — their confederates 
as well as their own honor — so long as they could liberate 
the members of their own civic families out of the Attic 

A peculiar personal complication helped 
t^naTtoSpar- to support the party of peace at Sparta in 
ta. OLixxxviii. their endeavors. The same King Plistoan ax, 
the son of Pausanias, whom Pericles had in- 
duced by a pecuniary bribe to take his departure from 
Attica (vol. ii., p. 450), had ever since lived in exile on 
the height of the Lycseon, the sacred mountain of the Ar- 
cadians, as a refugee under the protection of the Lycsean 
Zeus. He had built himself a dwelling close to the wall 
of the sanctuary, so as to be able at any moment to retreat 
before his pursuers upon consecrated ground. For nine- 
teen years he had led this wild life amidst the storms visit- 
ing his wooded height, but had never renounced the hope 
of return. For this purpose he had applied to the priests 
at Delphi with so much effect, that for a long time the 
Spartans, whenever they sent envoys to the Oracle, were di- 
rected to bring back the "scion of Heracles, the son of Zeus, 
from exile, or they would yet have to plough with silver 
ploughshares;" i. e., a season of dearth would come upon 
them, so that the barest necessaries of life would cost them 
great pecuniary sacrifices. These directions ultimately 
achieved their object, and, after a banishment of nineteen 
years, the king was brought back with the most solemn 
honors, and reinstated upon the throne of the Heraclidse. 
But when, soon afterwards, the domestic troubles of Sparta 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 193 

increased, and the means whereby the Oracle had been 
gained over became known, the deepest dissatisfaction was 
felt at what had been done, and all the calamities of the 
state were now ascribed to the illegal act into which tho 
citizens had allowed themselves to be seduced. 

Under these circumstances, the policy 
which naturally recommended itself to e Feehn S m 

J t t favor of peace 

Plistoanax was that of finishing the war as at Sparta 
soon as possible ; because he thought that 
the only way of holding himself was to lead the state 
back as soon as possible into the ancient courses of a con- 
dition of peace and tranquillity, and to put an end to the 
captivity of the Spartans ; his government was to derive 
glory from bringing home these long-absent citizens, and 
by this act to be marked out as a happy epoch in the 
national history. Delphi co-operated towards this end 
with all its strength ; for although the Delphic priesthood 
had favored the outbreak of the war, yet they had come 
to realize more and more clearly how slender were the 
chances of a result favorable to the interests of Sparta 
and Delphi, and how the progress of the war tended to 
diminish the religious sense, the feeling of reverence 
towards the common sanctuaries of the nation, the fre- 
quency of the visits paid to the latter, as well as the pious 
foundations and acts of homage — all this to the most 
serious disadvantage of the priestly establishments.* 

Thus it came to pass, that the victories in Thrace in 
point of fact exercised the contrary effect to that intended 
by the victor. For, instead of being inspired thereby 
with heightened pride and firmness, the Spartans were 
merely induced to seek for peace with redoubled ardor, 
because they placed no confidence in the permanence of 
these successes, and accordingly endeavored to anticipate 
another revulsion in the course of events. They regarded 

* Plistoanax on Mt. Lycaeon — »?/u.icn> rij? oi<ias tov iepou tou Albs biK<av f 
Thuc. V. 16 ; cf. Curtius, Peloponnesos, i. 303. 


194 History of Greece. [ BooK IV - 

Brasidas as an adventurer favored by fortune ; his popu- 
larity filled them with suspicions, because they had no 
means of retaining in their power those distant regions, 
where many a general had already entered into selfish 
schemes of dominion; and however easy it might be for 
the Spartiatse to achieve their victories with other men's 
money and by the arms of Helots, yet this very circum- 
stance itself filled them with fear and anxiety. In short, 
royalty and aristocracy at Sparta desired peace at any 
price, in order to re-settle, in accordance with their inter- 
ests, the internal affairs of the state after its troubles ; and 
they found no difficulty in opening negotiations at Athens 
before the current winter had come to an end. 

In Athens public feeling had naturally 

and Athens: , ., , ., - , 

(Aristophanes' undergone an equally decided change 
^armansand during the last year of the war. The 
Moderate party, which had disapproved of 
the thoughtless refusal of the first offers of peace, had 
gained fresh ground, since the defeat in Bceotia had given 
so speedy a confirmation to their warnings as to a possible 
change in the fortune of war. Ever since the battle of 
Delium, Athens was sick of the struggle. Moreover, the 
war and peace parties were opposed to one another upon 
very different terms, ever since the Athenians had at their 
command the means of obtaining an honorable peace as 
soon as they wished. An aimless continuation of the 
war, now more than ever, wore the aspect of impious self- 
assumption, and the public voice opposed it more and more 
loudly, particularly on the stage. Here Aristophanes, 
with undaunted outspokenness, continued his struggle 
against Cleon, and in the month of February of the year 
425 (01. Ixxxiii. 3) produced his Acharnians, in which 
the worthy Dicaeopolis makes his appearance, arriving in 
the city with the object of advocating peace. The honest 
countryman's simple good sense sees through the absurdi- 
ties of the ruling policy of Athens, the deceptive delu- 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 195 

sions of brilliant alliances, and all the evils of Dema- 
gogy, which keeps the citizens in a perpetual state of 
excitement, and condemns all men of sense to silence, 
Nor will he allow himself to be disturbed in his convic- 
tions by the angry peasants of Acharnsc, who wish to take 
vengeance upon the Spartans for the devastation of their 
vineyards (p. 60) ; he sends for various samples of peace 
from Sparta, is charmed by the taste of the Thirty Years' 
sample, and on the spot concludes a separate treaty of 
peace for his own house, upon which all the blessings of 
fortune immediately pour down, so that the mouths of all 
other men water to participate in these good things. 
With far greater earnestness and daring the poet came 
forward in the ensuing year under his own name. There 
could be no use in contending against special tendencies 
of the prevailing policy ; the real object of importance 
was the overthrow of Cleon himself, for which purpose 
the poet formed a close alliance with the Knights, from 
whom the play derives its name. The Knights is a 
dramatic party-manifesto of the aristocracy, clothed in 
bristling steel ; the state is represented as the household 
of an old gentleman who has given up himself and all 
his prooerty to a Paphlagonian slave; the Paphlagonian 
is checkmated by the demagogic artifices of a rival, and 
as soon as the former is got rid of, the old gentleman's 
youth revives, and together with it a blissful condition in 
w T hich he is filled with shame at his past follies. * 

The Knights of Aristophanes subjected the poet to a 
further prosecution, under w 7 hich he had to suffer for his 
outspokenness. For Cleon still continued his terrorism 
for a season ; it was he, as we may assume, who occasioned 
the banishment of Thucydides ; he demonstrated how the 

* As to the causes of the hostility between Cleon and the Knights, cf. 
Theopomp. in the Schol. ad Ar. Eq. 226. As to Aristophanes' conflicts 
with Cleon, Bergk in Schmidt's Zeitschr, ii. 206. 

196 History of Greece. [ b °ok IV 

negligence of the generals and the indolence of the 
citizens had alone enabled Brasidas to obtain his successes. 
At the same time, Cleon was unable to check the growth 
of the peace-party, and after the offers of Sparta had 
been thrice rejected, a year's truce was actually con- 
cluded in the beginning of the spring — a truce which 
both sides regarded as preliminary to the conclusion of a 

The form of the treaty offered by Sparta 

the X warf C ^M. ^° the Athenians proves that the Delphic 

lxxxix. l, (b.c. priesthood assisted in its preparation. The 

first article secured a restoration of free 

access by land and by water to Delphi. Sparta and 

Athens were to unite in guaranteeing the 

Spartan pro- ce f Delphi and the property of the 

posals of peace. r r r r " 

god. The iEgean was to be opened again 
to the Lacedsemonians and their confederates, but only for 
sailing, i. e., merchant vessels, whose size was moreover not 
to exceed a certain limit (in order that reinforcements 
might in no wise reach Brasidas), and freedom of inter- 
course was also to be restored between Athens and the 
Peloponnesus. Up to the conclusion of the peace the uti 
possidetis was to remain unchanged, for which reason 
precise lines of demarcation were fixed for the Lacedaemo- 
nian garrisons as well as for the Athenians at Pylus, 
Cythera, Nissea, Minoa, and Troezene, which were not to 
be transgressed ; moreover, no fugitives were to be 
admitted on either side during the continuation of the 

The whole of the treaty could not fail to 

Conclusion of , . , „ , , * 

a truce, oi. meet the wishes of the great number of 
lxxxix. l. b.c. Hellenes, who desired the restoration of 

423.) March. ' 

freedom of intercourse, while at the same 
time everything was avoided which had the appearance of 
endangering the status quo of the Athenian dominion. 
The acquisitions of Athens still left her in a superior 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nieias. 197 

position ; her absolute rule over the sea was completely 
acknowledged in this preliminary instrument, and at the 
same time the imminent revolt of her allies was prevented 
without the expenditure of new naval and military 
resources. To restore order to the relations with Delphi 
was an object which the conservative party had very much 
at heart ; but even in this matter they were supported by 
the approval of the civic community, and the picture of 
a general peace, in which the great national festivals 
might once more be undisturbedly celebrated, appeared 
with all its attractive features before the eyes of the 
Greeks. Accordingly, Laches, who in these matters was 
the organ of the Moderate party, succeeded in inducing 
the civic assembly to accept the treaty, which in the 
month of Elophebolion (March) was solemnly sworn to 
by three Athenian generals and by the envoys of the 
Lacedaemonians, Corinthians, Megareans, Sicyonians, and 
Epidaurians. It was hoped that, after the states had 
during a few months tasted the blessings of peace, the 
public mind would soon everywhere calm itself and be 
filled with aversion to the war; and at Athens itself 
the sentiments of the citizens were so favorable to this 
hope, that the strategi of the city were immediately 
authorized to commence negotiations with a view to set- 
tling permanent terms of peace with the Peloponnesians. 
As the first step, two commissioners were 
despatched to Thrace, in order to publish Spartan com- 
the treaty there. By way of a good omen missioners in 
the Lacedaemonians chose for the purpose a 
citizen of the name of Athenaeus, and the Athenians 

But these commissioners found that the 

, , n /v» • • rrM it i Continuance 

state ot anairs in 1 brace had undergone an of hostilities in 

important change. Brasidas had, in the Thrace. 01. 

lxxxix. 2. ("b.c* 

interval, instead of paying the slightest 423.) 
* Truce. Thuc. iv. 117-119. 

198 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

regard to the events which had happened at home, in 
the fulness of his warlike ardor taken advantage of the 
opportunity for further securing a strong position on the 
third of the Chalcidian peninsulas, i. e. } on Pallene. The 
town of Scione, situate on the south coast of Pallene, 
had gone over to the Peloponnesians, although, besides being 
exposed from the sea to the Attic fleet, it was also threat- 
ened in the rear by Potidsea, which cut off the transmission 
of all supplies by land. This revolt had occurred two 
days after the conclusion of the truce. Aristonymus 
accordingly refused to include Scione among the places 
of which the treaty left the Lacedaemonians in temporary 
possession : Brasidas, on the other hand, had no intention 
of giving up the place : nor was there any possibility of 
arriving at an agreement. When the news reached 
Athens, the pacific disposition of the citizens was changed 
into the most vehement indignation ; and Cleon, who had 
led the opposition of the minority against the conclusion 
of any treaty, once more met with assent on every side, 
when he inveighed against the faithlessness of Sparta and 
the folly of those who trusted her. His motion was car- 
ried ordering fifty triremes to be immediately despatched 
to Thrace, and sentencing all the inhabitants of Scione to 
death as traitors. 

When Nicias and Nicostratus arrived with a fleet at 
Potidcea, they found that another city of the Pallenian 
peninsula, viz., Mende (situate on the promontory Posi- 
dium, and directly opposite the pass of Tempe), had gone 
over to Brasidas and admitted a Peloponnesian garrison. 
Brasidas himself had meanwhile led the main body of his 
troops into the interior of Macedonia, in order to assist 
Perdiccas against the Lyncestse (p. 178). For at however 
inopportune a season this campaign of the king occurred 
for the Spartan general, yet the latter deemed a good 
understanding with Perdiccas of too great importance to 
allow him to refuse the assistance demanded. But he 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 199 

found cause for bitterly repenting this step. In the first 
place the faithlessness of the Macedonians, on the occasion 
of an unexpected attack by the Illyrians, involved him in 
a most dangerous conflict, from which only the greatest 
sagacity and valor enabled him to issue forth victorious ; 
and moreover, in consequence of the indignation of his 
troops, which found vent in the devastation of the royal 
territory, the alliance with Perdiccas was after all broken 
up, and the latter induced to transfer his aid to the side 
of the Athenians — an irreparable loss for the Pelopon- 
nesian forces, whose means of communication with their 
native country were thus cut off. 

Daring the time of this unfortunate campaign of Bra- 
sidas, Nicias had met with continuous successes ; he had 
recaptured Mende and placed Scione in a state of blockade. 
Brasidas, on the other hand, was unable to attempt any 
advance, and a considerable reinforcement on its way to 
him had to turn back at the Thessalian frontier. Here 
was the first result of the rupture with Perdiccas. For 
the latter now used his Thessalian influence against the 
Spartans, partly in his own interest, partly in order to 
respond to the demands of Nicias by proving to the Athe- 
nians the change that had taken place in his foreign 
policy. Thus it came to pass that the troops were pre- 
vented from marching through the country, and that only 
their leader, Ischagoras, accompanied by a few Spartans 
who were to assume the command in the conquered places 
reached Thrace. For it was feared that persons of an 
inferior rank belonging to the military staff of Brasidas 
might be advanced to this kind of posts The sending of 
these men could accordingly only contribute to give 
offence to the general, and to hinder him in the execution 
of his plans. A bold assault upon Potidsea, which he 
attempted in the winter, failed;* and thus the state of 

* Continuation of the Thracian war : Thuc. iv. 123 f. 

200 History of Greece. L BooK IV - 

affairs remained unchanged up to the expiration of the 
truce, which had never taken effect in Thrace. 

Greece itself had meanwhile tasted the advantages of 
the cessation of arms and general security, 
the Deiian^Oi. although the Athenians had not allowed 
lxxxix. 2. (b. c. even this interval to pass without commit- 
ting an act of violence which caused a 
deep sensation among the Hellenes. It was discovered 
that the previous purification of Delos (p. 152) had been 
insufficient ; not the dead alone, it was now declared, 
polluted the sacred island, but also the inhabitants still 
living upon it, who were charged with this or that offence, 
dating from ancient times. It is impossible to ascertain 
whether Athens had reason to distrust the Delians, or 
whether her sole object was to employ the navy in a 
manner useful to the citizens (a purpose as to which the 
Athenians were never at a loss for suitable pretences.) 
This, however, we know : that the measure was carried 
out with relentless cruelty ; the Delians being forced to 
emigrate with their wives and families to Mysia, where 
Pharnaces provided them with habitations in Adramyt- 
teum ; and Attic citizens being settled as proprietors in the 
vacant lands. These proceedings were a base mockery of 
religious formalities, carried out by the exertions of the 
opponents of the pious Nicias and his friends, as it were 
for the purpose of deriding them. For this reason the 
calamities suffered soon afterwards in the war were re- 
garded as a punishment sent by the gods, and after one 
year had elapsed it was, under the influence of Delphi, 
resolved to restore the Delians to their homes.* 

The war-party now made the most vigorous efforts to 

take advantage of the liberty of action 

the G warf OL restored to them after the expiration of the 

lxxxix 2. (b. c. term fixed by treaty ; and this party was 

headed by Cleon. He was aware that his 

* Boeckh, Abh. d. Akad. 1834, p. 6, Thuc. v. i 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nieias. 201 

importance must diminish in proportion as men's minds 
calmed down and general Hellenic sympathies gained 
ground onc^ more. He needed troubled times, if he was 
to maintain himself at the height of his influence. Ac- 
cordingly, in proportion as the wealthier citizens mani- 
fested their weariness of the war, Cleon addressed himself 
to the lower classes, inveighed against the cowardice of 
the rich, insisted upon the perfidiousness of the enemy and 
the disgrace which would befall Athens should she con- 
tinue to leave Amphipolis in the hands of Brasidas, and 
in the end managed to carry a popular decree ordering 
the equipment of another fleet. The peace-party had 
been outvoted, but still possessed sufficient power to cripple 
the success of this measure from the very outset. This 
party at bottom by no means objected to the successes 
obtained by Brasidas, inasmuch as they helped to increase 
the chances of peace. For if Sparta had nothing to give 
in exchange for Pylus, Cythera, &c, it was to be antici- 
pated that Cleon would propose and carry offers of peace 
upon conditions which it would be impossible for Sparta 
to accept. Thus, then, it came to pass that, 
probably at the instigation of the peace- pointed G to the 
party, Cleon was named commander of command in 

i t • i • i t i • Thrace. 

the expedition, who, notwithstanding his 
lucky stroke at Sphacteria, was regarded as an in- 
efficient general: furthermore, although the numbers of 
the troops accompanying him were considerable (they 
consisted of 1,200 heavy-armed foot-soldiers and 300 
cavalry) and their equipments complete, and although 
they were taken from the flower of the civic body, yet 
they, from the first, lacked ardor and confidence, and 
included amongst them many of the most passionate 
adversaries of Cleon, who hoped that their own com- 
mander might suffer a reverse. 

The situation of Brasidas was a directly contrary one. 
He had under him few veterans, and the majority of his 


202 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

troops was composed of Thracian mercenaries and the con- 
tingents of the Chalcidian towns ; they formed a curiously- 
mixed and imperfectly-equipped force, which was, however, 
animated by the spirit of its general. He stood like a he- 
roic figure in the midst of his army, admired and loved by 
all the neighboring cities, for whom his arrival had opened 
up a new era, and whose expectations now rested upon 
him alone, though he had been deserted by Perdiccas and 
cut off from his native city, and who shared his hopes and 
fears alike. 

Cleon took care to avoid an immediate meeting with 
such a foe. He contrived to find out the weak points of 
the Thracian coast, and surprised Torone, (the fortifications 
of which were being enlarged at the instiga- 
^T$5L!£ tion of Brasidas) by a successful assault, 
01. lxx'xix. 3. which delivered the city into the hands of 
tumn. the Athenians. Towards the end of the 

summer he entered the mouth of the Stry- 
7non, and from Eion undertook a successful raid into the 
districts of the mines. But he hesitated to advance against 
Amphipolis itself; the troops of Brasidas being equal to 
his own in number, and possessing all the advantages of 
position. Brasidas had made Amphipolis itself incompa- 
rably stronger than it had been before, for he had con- 
structed a wall with palisades, reaching from the city wall 
to the bridge across the Strymon, enabling him to cross 
the river without emerging from the fortifications : hereby 
the citadel height Cerdylium, on the further bank, had 
been brought into the circle of the city fortifications ; and 
from this height Brasidas was enabled to overlook the en- 
tire valley as far as its inlet, so that no movement on the 
part of the Athenians escaped his notice. One thing alone 
he had to fear, viz.: the arrival of Macedonian troops, 
which would render feasible a simultaneous attack from 
both banks : he was accordingly anxious to fight as soon 
as possible, and hoped easily to find an opportunity. Nor 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 203 

was he deceived ; for, as he had anticipated, Cleon was 
without sufficient authority in his own camp to be able 
quietly to await the arrival of his new allies, and the mur- 
murs of his troops rose to such a pitch that he was forced 
to take some active step. He accordingly marched along 
the left bank as far as the height which connects Amphi- 
polis with the mountains, and whence, over the long wall 
(vol. ii., p. 538), all the streets and open places of the city 
came into view. His intention was simply to reconnoitre 
the ground, a knowledge of which was indispensable to 
him, in order to enable him to act upon a combined plan 
with the Macedonians whose arrival he expected ; and, as 
for his part he at present intended no attack, he was fool- 
ish enough to believe that it rested with himself to return 
into his camp without having struck a blow. Brasidas, 
on the other hand, had immediately taken measures for an 
assault. A s the main body of his troops were so imper- 
fectly equipped that he feared that their aspect would only 
serve to encourage the enemy, he assembled 150 hoplites 
in his presence, in a short address pointed out to them that 
this day would decide whether they were to be free con- 
federates of Sparta or slaves of Athens, and then broke 
forth at the pace of assault from the lower gate ; i. e., the 
gate of the wall. For, as soon as the Athenians perceived 
the intention of Brasidas, they hurriedly beat a retreat, so 
as to save themselves from being cut off from camp and 
fleet; preceded by the left wing, the rest of the army fol- 
lowed, but in no order of battle, and without cohesion or 
system, the right sides of the soldiers, which were unde- 
fended by their shields, being turned towards the gates of 
Amphipolis. On this side Brasidas, with impetuous ardor, 
attacked the centre of the enemy's line of march ; and, as 
soon as he had engaged them in hand-to-hand conflict, a 
second gate opened in the city wall, whence Clearidas, at 
the head of a large body of troops, rushed forth upon the 
right wing of the Athenians, which still remained on the 

204 History of Greece. I b ^k iv. 

heights, while the left wing had already severed itself from 
the right, and was hurrying forward in full flight towards 
E'ion. Cleon had lost all self-possession; his army had no 
longer a commander or any internal cohesion. The men 
of the right wing alone did their duty, and several times 
threw back Clearidas. But their powers of resistance were 
wearied out by the cavalry and archers; and Brasidas 
himself, after his victory over the Athenian centre, threw 
himself upon the right wing, so that the latter was obliged 
to relinquish its position, and retreat through a trackless 
countiy to E'ion, suffering great losses in the effort. When 
the troops re-assembled at E'ion, 600 men were found miss- 
ing. Cleon himself had been killed in the flight. So 
complete was the victory of the Pelopon- 

Death of cie- nesians that they are stated to have lost not 
sidas. more than seven men. But during the at- 

tack upon the right wing, Brasidas himself 
had been severely wounded, and died at Amphipolis im- 
mediately after this most brilliant of his military achieve- 
ments. The citizens manifested their sorrow for his death 
by honors such as had heretofore been paid to no mortal 
man. In the midst of the city a piece of land was conse- 
crated around his tomb, and sepulchral rites instituted in 
his honor, with solemn sacrifices and games. The honors 
of the founder of the city were transferred to his name ; 
and thus Amphipolis, as a daughter-city of Sparta, became 
more intimately connected than ever before with the na- 
tive city of Brasidas.* 

If the peace-party at Athens had wished, 

Consequences r had even labored to the effect, that the 

of the death of ... • , a i • v « rj. „„j 

Cleon. expedition against Amphipolis might end 

in the thorough defeat of the opposite party, 

their plans had met with an unexpected realization; 

though, at the same time, this triumph had been dearly 

* Battle of Amphipolis : Thuc. v. 2, 3 ; 6-11. 

Chap. II.] The War to the Peace of Nicias. 205 

bought. For now, not only had the leader of the war- 
party been removed, but his overthrow had been such as 
to humiliate all the adherents both of himself and of his 
policy. Though a variety of intemperate individuals con- 
tinued to preach war in his sense — including military men 
eager for new campaigns, such as Lamachus, and dema- 
gogues, such as Cleonymus and Hyperbolus ; — and though 
they were supported by all those who derived a profit 
from the war, (as, e. g., the armorers,) or who pursued 
private schemes of ambition, yet the death of Cleon gave 
to Nicias freedom of action, and enabled the feelings which 
prevailed among all the educated classes to assert them- 
selves more openly. Not in vain were three more plays 
produced by Aristophanes, after the Knights, all of which 
aimed at supporting the work of peace in Hellas. 

On the other hand, the situation of affairs 
had certainly changed to the disadvantage ti ^ ce neg0 *j' 
of the Athenians. For in the meantime lxxxix. l. (b.c. 
Sparta had gained an unexampled victory, ter ~ '' 
her commanders having, with the contin- 
gents of allies of Athens, with Helots and barbarian merce- 
naries, inflicted a complete defeat upon the flower of the 
Athenian troops. Yet this victory was not sufficient to 
induce the Spartans to relinquish their policy of peace, or 
essentially to increase their demands. Now, as before, 
they put little trust in the acquisitions beyond the seas, 
which they could reach neither by land nor by water, and 
never regarded them as more than pledges for the Spartan 
prisoners at Athens and the places on their own coasts 
occupied by the enemy. Brasidas had, indeed, strongly 
opposed these views, and, had he survived his victory, he 
would scarcely have consented willingly to give up all his 
acquisitions, and to restore to the dominion of the Athe- 
nians the new allies to whom he had sworn to be true. 
His death freed the Spartans from this embarrassment ; 
and as therefore on either side the voices had been silenced 

206 History of Greece. [ b <*>k IV. 

which demanded the continuation of the war until the foe 
was annihilated, — as, moreover, the expiration of the 
treaty between Sparta and Argos was close at hand, — and 
as it was in the interest of the former to have no open 
enemy at this conjuncture with whom the Argives might 
conclude an alliance : for all these reasons, soon after the 
battle of Amphipolis, the peace negotiations commenced, 
under the influence principally of Plistoanax and Nicias, 
and were now zealously and seriously prosecuted on either 
side. The Spartans, indeed, once more summoned the 
confederates to assemble in the spring, in order to 
establish a military position in Attica ; but, before the 
spring set in, the two powers had agreed that they would 
constitute the territorial status quo before the war the 
basis of the peace. 

After this agreement had been arrived at, 
Peace of Nicias. the confederates of Sparta were invited to 

(b c SiTa rit S* ve ^ e ^ r assent - All accorded it with the 
exception of the Boeotians and the Corinth- 
ians, whose protest was followed by one on the part of 
Megara and El is. The recent events of the war had 
aroused new hopes in the Boeotians and Corinthians ; the 
latter had already entertained thoughts of re-establishing 
their power in Thrace, and could not bring themselves so 
soon to renounce all their plans, and to leave even Anac- 
torium (p. 168) in the hands of Athens ; while Megara 
was equally unwilling to relinquish her claims to Nissea 
(p. 171). Thebes had, indeed, with the aid of Sparta, 
permanently acquired the possession of Platsese, (under 
the shameful pretence that this city had voluntarily gone 
over to Thebes !) but refused to give up Panactum, on the 
Attic frontier, which she had lately seized. Notwith- 
standing this opposition, a majority of votes gave a legal 
sanction to the treaty, which was sworn to in the begin- 
ning of April by the plenipotentiaries of Athens and 
Sparta. The exordium of the document rehearsed the 

Chap. II.] The War to ike Peace of Nleias. 207 

usual articles ensuring freedom of access to the national 
sanctuaries, and the inviolable independence of Delphi. 
Then followed the principal article, establishing a fifty 
years' peace between Athens and Sparta and their re- 
spective allies by land and by sea. Next, the particular 
articles providing for the restoration of Amphipolis and 
the Chalcidian towns ; and, on the other side of Pylus, 
Oythera, Methone, &c. Meanwhile, the political relations 
of the Chalcidian towns were settled after this fashion : 
that they were indeed to pay tribute to Athens, but in 
other respects to be free and independent ; nor was any 
citizen to be prevented from emigrating with all his 
property, All prisoners were to be released on either 
side. Finally, the instrument of the peace was to be 
deposited in the national sanctuaries, as well as at Athens 
and Sparta, and its solemn confirmation by oath to be 
annually repeated. 

This is the treaty called since ancient times the Peace 
of Nicias, which put an end to the war between the two 
Greek confederations of states, after it had lasted for 
rather more than ten years, viz. from the attack of the 
Boeotians upon Platsese, 01. lxxxvii. 1 (beginning of April 
B. c. 431) to 01. lxxxix. 3 (towards the middle of April 
B.C. 421). The war was for this reason known under the 
name of the Ten Years' War, while the Peloponnesians 
called it the Attic War. Its end constituted a triumph 
for Athens ; for all the plans of the enemies who had 
attacked her had come to naught; Sparta had been 
unable to fulfil a single one of the promises with which 
she had entered upon the war, and was ultimately forced 
to acknowledge the dominion of Athens in its whole 
extent,— notwithstanding all the mistakes and misgivings, 
notwithstanding all the calamities attributable, or not, to 
the Athenians themselves : the resources of offence and 
defence which the city owed to Pericles had therefore 
proved their excellence, and all the fury of her opponents 

208 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

had wasted itself against her in vain. Sparta herself was 
satisfied with the advantages which the peace offered to 
her own city and citizens ; but great was the discontent 
among her confederates, particularly among the secondary 
states, who had originally occasioned the war and obliged 
Sparta to take part in it. Even after the conclusion of 
the peace, it was impossible to induce Thebes and Corinth 
to accede to it. The result of the war to Sparta was 
therefore the dissolution of the confederation at whose 
head she had begun the war; she felt herself thereby 
placed in so dangerously isolated a position, that she was 
obliged to fall back upon Athens in self-defence against 
her own confederates. Accordingly, the 

Defensive al- t-> n -vr* • j.t- j? j.i 

liance between -teace or JNicias was in the course oi the 
Sparta and sarae year converted into a fifty years' 

Athens. . * * 

alliance, under the terms oi which feparta 
and Athens contracted the obligation of mutual assistance 
against any hostile attack. Sparta was to send a festive 
embassy to the Attic Dionysia, and Athens to the Hya- 
cinthia at Amyclse, in order by means of this community 
of celebration to strengthen the alliance in arms, by which 
the two great powers of Greece hoped, in defiance of t[ «e 
objections of the secondary states, permanently to establi d 
the general peace.* 

See Note VII. Appendix. 



While the whole of Hellas as far as Macedonia and 
Epirus gradually came to take part in the struggle between 
the two cities, the Western colonies remained externally free 
from any contact with it. They had their separate history, 
which continued its course in a homogeneous development 
by the side of that of the mother-country. For it was 
about the same period that they attained to the height of 
their prosperity ; they had their Tyrants and their wars of 
liberation against the barbarians' lust of conquest; they 
hereupon fell into a period of party-strife at home, which 
divided them, as it had the states of the mother-country, 
into two mutually hostile camps, so that the feuds on 
either side of the Ionian Sea in the end met and formed 
one war. 

The situation and natural conditions of 
Sicily after a certain fashion mark out the 
course of its history. Lying in the midst of the Mediter- 
ranean, between the Libyan, Tyrrhenian, and Greek seas, 
stretching out its open coasts on three sides, at the same 
time attracting immigration by the richest abundance of 
natural blessings (uniting as it does the treasures of the 
soil of Greece and Italy with those of the North-African 
clime), Sicily ever since the first beginnings of navigation 
was a favorite goal of colonizing maritime nations. The 
history of Sicily is accordingly the history of a colonial 
country, and has for its scene the border of the coast, — in 
other words, it is the history of several distinct maritime 
cities. The coasts are separated from one another by a 


210 History of Greece. [ b °ok IV. 

mountainous interior which offers no favorable sites for 
town-settlements, — a country which is upon the whole 
better adapted for pasture than for agriculture, and which 
served as a habitation for the islanders who had been 
driven from the coasts, and who were thus enabled to 
maintain their independence in the interior. In this way 
no common national history could form itself, nor any 
federal constitution with federal laws. For this purpose 
the cities moreover varied too considerably with respect to 
race and political position. For the towns of the west 
coast, inhabited by a mixed population of Greeks, Liby- 
ans, and Phoenicians, stood under the supreme sovereignty 
of Carthage (vol. i. p. 475), so that the Greek colonies 
alone could attain to an independent history. But among 
the latter, again, very definite contrasts existed, the germs 
of which had been already brought over from the mother- 
country at the time of the foundation of these cities. For 
as soon as the Chalcidians had occupied the country near 
Mount iEtna with Ionic population, the Dorians from Co- 
rinth and Megara immediately endeavored to prevent their 
further spread ; and before the Corinthians had dared to 
advance as far as the south coast, the Rhodians established 
themselves on the same in a series of towns. 

The Hellenes ^he opposition between the different races 
in Sicily. was indeed from the first less marked here 

than in the mother-country, because large numbers of Ionic 
population had also taken part in the colonizing expeditions 
of the Doric maritime towns. For this reason, the Doric 
character and habits of life did not assert themselves in their 
sterner forms in Sicily ; for, although the towns retained the 
distinctions of the Chalcidian and the Doric dialect, and the 
Chalcidian and Doric ordinances of law, yet we find trade and 
maritime life, unrestrained habits of luxury, the worship of 
money, and the rule of Tyrants prevailing from an early 
period in the Doric no less than in the Ionic towns, and the 
former engaging in feuds with one another, regardless of 

Chap, hi.] Italy cmd Sicily. 211 

their community of descent. Sicily was in short the scene 
where a greater variety of the most different nationalities 
met and blended than in any other region. Dorians and 
Ionians were here blended into populations speaking a 
mixed dialect, half Doric, half Ionic (as, e. g., in the case 
of the Himerseans, who came from Zancle and from Syra- 
cuse). A mixture of Hellenic and barbarian blood had on 
the west coast formed the people of the Elymi (vol. i. p. 476). 
Finally, the native Siculi had also, on all the coasts, united 
with the Hellenic population, and these manifold combina- 
tions between different peoples and tribes such as were no- 
where else effected to the same extent, again gave to the in- 
habitants of the island the peculiar character which rendered 
it easy to distinguish the Siceliotes, i. e. the Sicilian Greeks, 
among all people speaking the Greek tongue. They were 
for the most part men of great versatility and knowledge 
of the world, inventive and industrious, sensual, and inclined 
to a life of comfort and enjoyment, but at the same time of 
active mind and fine powers of observation ; they always 
had a ready answer at command, and did not even allow 
mishaps to discourage them sufficiently to prevent them 
from amusing themselves and others by witty conceits. 

The further development of the political 
and social condition of Sicily depended upon The periods 

, . .-ii i . , of Sicilian his- 

the prosperity enjoyed by each particular tory. 
town. For, although nearly all attained to 
a high degree of prosperity, yet the development of their 
respective forces and power varied very considerably. It 
was not, as might be expected, the towns of the Chalcidians 
in the neighborhood of Mount JEtna, pre-eminently favored 
though they were by the fertility of their territory and the 
comforts of their situation, which flourished in advance of 
the rest. Even Syracuse, although fortunate above all the 
other colonies in its situation on the coast, exercised no 
independent influence upon the history of the island : it 
was in the Rhodian cities that the movements originated 

212 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

which gave rise to a common history of the Sicilian states. 
They were the first to pursue political objects of greater 
importance, to pass beyond the narrow limits of their re- 
spective territories, and by both negotiation and force to 
blend together the resources of several communities. Thus 
the earlier history of Sicily may be naturally divided into 
three periods. The first is the era of the foundation of 
cities, a long period of a century and a half. Upon this 
follows the era of the internal development of these cities, 
during which the Chalcidian colonies in particular intro- 
duced and developed those systems of law which were 
ascribed to the legislator Charondas (vol. ii. p. 106). 

This period belongs principally to the sixth century; 
and in it each of the three sides of the island, and, again, 
each individual town, has its particular history. No con- 
nected accounts exist of this period. For the cities 
remained in obscurity uutil the time of the seventieth 
Olympiad (b. c. 500) : at this date a livelier activity com- 
mences to manifest itself simultaneously at points mutually 
remote from one another ; party-conflicts break out in the 
communities, the mixed character of whose population 
admits of no calm development. Warlike personages 
seize the supreme power, and their ambition leads them to 
undertakings of wider and wider scope. The narrow 
boundaries of the territories of the cities, in which the 
different communities had dwelt peaceably by the side of 
one another, are passed. A distinction comes to be made 
between great and small states ; one city raises itself above 
the rest ; and alliances and counter-alliances are formed, 
which at last lead to the intervention of foreign powers. 
In this period, and not before, we are justified in speaking 
for the first time of a history of Sicily. The starting- 
point of this history is Gela (vol. i. p. 474). 

The Rhodian families, to whom belongs 
Gela e hlstory of the immortal glory of having placed Hel- 
lenic civilization in possession of the south 

Chap, hi.] Italy and Sicily. 213 

coast of the island, had come across with a multitude of 
people from Crete, Rhodes, Thera, and the lesser islands of 
Telus, Nisyrus, &c., which lie immediately opposite the 
coast of Asia Minor. The great varieties of race among 
these colonists added to the strength of the young com- 
munity, but on the other hand also, at a very early period, 
occasioned divisions which endangered the existence of the 
state. Thus in Gela also two parties had formed them- 
selves which were directly opposed to one another, so that 
in the end one of them had to emigrate to Mactorium, 
above Gela; the state was distracted by these quarrels, and 
a feud had broken out similar to that between Athens and 
Lipsydrium (vol. i. p. 397). It was then that a citizen 
of Gela, named Telines (who derived his origin from the 
island of Telus), succeeded in averting the outbreak of a 
sanguinary civil war. Protected by his religious character 
as priest of the Infernal Deities, he went out into the hos- 
tile camp, and by the power of rational persuasion suc- 
ceeded in reconciling the conflicting parties. The exist- 
ence of the community w T as saved ; and the hereditary 
priesthood of the deities by whose aid he had restored 
peace was, in accordance with his own proposal, officially 
conferred upon Telines as a reward (vol. ii. p. 4). But the 
rule of the families could not be permanently restored. 
Further party-feuds resulted in the Tyrannical rule of 
Oleander, who was succeeded in 01. lxx. 3 (b.c. 498) by 
his brother Hippocrates. The latter here- 
upon with extreme cunning and relentless n Hippocrates. 

r . 01. lxx. 3, lxxn. 

energy entered upon a policy of conquest, 2. (b.c. 498-1.) 
taking advantage of the quarrels in the 
neighboring towns in the interests of his own ambition, 
and concluding alliances which he respected precisely so 
long as they were of use to him. Through him the whole 
island was for the first time involved in disturbances and 
insecurity, and the age of feuds between the cities com- 
menced, just as similar times in Peloponnesus followed 

214 History of Greece. [ Bo °s iv. 

upon the first acts of violence on the part of the Spartans 
against the territories of their neighbors. 

In Sicily, however, the temptation to invasion and 
conquest was far stronger than in the mother-country. 
The cities succeeded one another on the narrow border of 
the coast at far shorter distances ; and the communities, as 
they rose into prosperity, necessarily felt themselves 
hemmed in on all sides. Moreover, in Sicily, the terri- 
tories of the different cities were separated from one 
another by natural boundaries. As in Greece, so in 
Sicily, fertile plains, watered by rivers, opened towards the 
sea, and belted in the rear by mountains, formed natural 
cantons. Yet these divisions were not so marked and 
thorough as those formed by the mountain-ranges of 
Greece, and afforded neither sufficient protection nor 
satisfactory grounds of confidence to the weaker states. 
And, since it followed from the circumstances of the 
island that no common system of law could possibly exist 
to secure the uncertain frontiers, nor any religious statutes 
which maintained peace in the land ; no barrier whatso- 
ever was opposed against the impulse towards conquest 
animating the more vigorous of the civic communities.* 

The feuds which hereupon ensued were not feuds between 
different races ; for the attack which proceeded from warlike 
Gela was directed against Syracuse: accordingly two Do- 
rian cities commenced the struggle against one another. One 
hundred and thirty-five years after the foundation of their 
city (i. e. about the time of Solon), the Syracusans had plant- 
ed a colony on the south coast, founding Camarina between 
the promontory Pachynum and Gela, the Megareans having 
a generation previously built Selinus on the western part of 
the south coast. Evidently the Peloponnesians, prompted 
by the successes of the Rhodians, wished to emulate them in 
these regions, precisely as they wished on the east coast to 

* As to the cantonal formation of Sicily, see Jul. Schubring, Umwan- 
derung d. megar. Meerbwens, in Zeitschr. f. allg. Erdk. N. F. xvii. p. 435. 

Chap, hi.] Italy and Sicily. 215 

rival the Chalcidians. But the Rhodians intended to be 
sole masters on their side of the island ; and thus a conflict 
was unavoidable. In the frontier district between Gela and 
Syracuse, on the river Helorus, two Greek forces for the first 
time confronted one another in arms ; and although Syracuse 
was supported by Corinth and Corcyra, yet she could only 
preserve her independence by ceding her share of the south 
coast, ?'. e. Camarina and the territory belonging to that city. 

Meanwhile, Hippocrates continued to ex- 
tend the scope of his undertakings. He di- Hippocrates 

1 ° and Zancle. (b. 

rected his invasion to the rear of Syracuse, c . 393 circ.) 
which now became completely isolated, to- 
wards the territory of the Chalcidians, and established his 
authority at Leontini, Naxos, and Zancle. The means 
which he employed for carrying out his policy of conquest 
are most clearly displayed in the case of the last-named 
of these cities. 

Among the Chalcidian colonies of the island Zancle 
possessed the greatest vitality. Her territorial possessions 
were, in proportion to those of the other cities, meagre and 
unproductive ; but in consequence she devoted double 
attention to her excellent harbor, while her situation on 
the Sicilian sound forced her to provide for the security of 
commercial intercourse between the Tyrrhenian and Io- 
nian seas, and to place the harbors of the north coast in 
Greek hands. The Zanclseans had here to perform a 
task even more difficult than that of the Rhodians in the 
south ; for the northern shore is rocky, devoid of good 
roads, and in part extremely unhealthy: besides which, 
they not only had hostile neighbors in the Carthaginians, 
but also in the Tyrrhenians and Siculi, who had retained 
more power in the north than on the other side of the 
island. The Zanclseans, notwithstanding, succeeded in 
founding Mylse on the nearest promontory of the north 
coast, and after this, close to the Punic frontier, the city 
of Himera, which grew into an independent and populous 

216 History of Greece. [ B °o* IV. 

community. Thus a more extensive city-territory formed 
itself, which in the period of the Ionic revolt was governed 
by Scythes, the ruler of Zancle, a man of great political 
intelligence and foresight, who was also familiar with 
the state of affairs in the East. It occurred to him to 
take advantage of the difficulties of the Asiatic Greeks, 
and to obtain an increase of forces for the Hellenization 
of the north coast. Milesians and Samians obeyed his 
summons : but when they arrived at Rhegium with their 
ships, the wily Argesilaus of Rhegium succeeded in per- 
suading them to make an attack upon Zancle (vol. ii. p. 
212). Scythes, who was engaged in a campaign against 
the Siculi, found himself excluded from his own city, and 
hereupon summoned his ally Hippocrates to his assistance. 
But even by the latter he was most insidiously deceived ; 
for the Tyrant of Gela seized the person of Scythes, and 
made prisoners of the Zanclseans, delivering up the three 
hundred persons of the highest birth in the city to the 
Samians for execution. Though the Samians abstained 
from this sanguinary act, they concluded a treaty with 
Hippocrates, by which they divided the rich spoils with 
him, and doubtless also recognized the supremacy of Gela. 
Hippocrates enjoyed the support of two 
of Gela. OL n men > to whose talents as generals he princi- 
ixxii. 2. (b. c. pally owed his splendid successes. One of 
these was Gelo, the son of Dinomenes, a 
scion of the priestly family of Telines (p. 213); the 
other iEnesidemus, who belonged to a yet more illustrious 
family, that of the iEgidse, the same house which had 
emigrated from seven-gated Thebes to Sparta, helped to 
establish the polity of the latter, and subsequently 
branched off to Thera, Cyrene, and Rhodes (vol. i. p. 
200). From Rhodes, again, a branch of this vigorous 
and migratory house had come to Gela ; viz., the family 
of the Emmenidse, to which ^Enesidemus belonged. He 
as well as Gelo were ambitious schemers, and neither 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 217 

intended to remain the instrument of another man's 
power and glory. Gelo, the younger of the pair, out- 
stripped his rival. After Hippocrates had fallen in a 
battle against the Siculi, Gelo remained at the head of 
the troops, and under the pretence of defending the rights 
of the Tyrant's sons, who were under age, vanquished in 
open battle the citizen-army of the Geloans, and hereupon 
himself seized the supreme power, in order to carry out 
on a grander scale his predecessor's schemes of founding a 
Greek empire in Sicily. He was particularly anxious to 
establish a naval power ; and as the towns of the south 
coast with their open roads were ill adapted for the pur- 
pose, he cast an eye upon Syracuse, the capacities of 
whose large harbor seemed to him to mark her out as the 
capital of the island. The circumstances of the time 
favored his plans. For the attention of the mother- 
country was engrossed by the imminent Persian invasion, 
so that he had no intervention to fear from that quarter ; 
and, similarly, the internal affairs of the island met the 
designs of Gelo half-way.* 

The first settlement of the Corinthian 
colonists had been effected on Ortygia (vol. Syracuse. 
i. p. 467), where stood the sanctuary of 
Artemis, near the spring of Arethusa and the temple of 
Athene— the two sacred localities of the island, in the 
vicinity of which the ancient families of the city for a 
long time continued to dwell. These families were 
descended from the original body of the Syracusan set- 
tlers, who had in Dorian fashion divided amongst them- 
selves the conquered lands, and were, as proprietors of 
these lots of land, called the lords of the soil, or Gamori. 
By the side of these original citizens, in whose hands was 
the government of the city, an industrial population 

* Oleander and Hippocrates: Herod, vii. 154; Aristot. Polit. p. 231, 
25. — Zancle : Herod, vi. 23 — Generally, Burnet de Presle, Eecherckes 
tur les JStablissements dee Grcc* en Sicil, 1845. 


218 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

arose, whose numbers rapidly increased and attained to 
prosperity by means of trade in corn, navigation, arts, 
and handicraft. These were the unenfranchised residents 
under the protection of the city. A third class was com- 
posed of the so-called Cillicyrii, the unfree remnant of the 
ancient inhabitants, who tilled the soil belonging to the 
Gamori as the serfs of the latter, resembling as to position 
the Helots and Penestse (vol. i. p. 215). The governing 
families displayed as much efficiency and energy of action 
in Syracuse as in the mother-city, with which they always 
kept up intimate relations. They connected their small 
island off the shore by means of a large mole with the 
great island, upon which they thus as it were laid hands, 
thus taking the first step towards the establishment of an 
island-empire. For they not only filled the shores in their 
immediate vicinity with their suburban population, but 
also sent out colonies in every direction : e. g. y in the 
seventieth year of the existence of their city, to Acrae 
(01. xx. 1, b. c. 664) ; twenty years later to Casmenas ; 
and later still (01. xlv. 2, B.C. 599), to Camarina. Thus 
they encircled the territory of their city with a belt of 
fortified points, secured their command of the whole 
south-eastern corner of Sicily, and obtained military sta- 
tions well adapted for further undertakings. They also 
penetrated far into the interior, in order there also to 
spread Greek civilization, and to possess themselves of the 
most fertile regions in the interior of the country. Thus 
they are said to have founded, in the centre of Sicily, in 
a lofty situation abounding in springs, the city of Enna, 
about contemporaneously with the foundation of Aerse ; 
while at the same time they availed themselves of their 
numerous colonies to distribute the turbulent population 
of Syracuse itself, and thus to strengthen the existing 

* Acrae: Thuc. vi. 5 ; Schubring, Acrse — Palazzolo, in Jahrb. f. KU 
Philol. Supplem. iv. 661. -Enna : Stcph. Byz. t. v. 

Chap. III.] Jfafy an ^ Sicily. 219 

Yet, in spite of ajl their sagacity and energy, the Syra- 
eusan families were not permitted to achieve a permanent 
success either in their domestic or in their foreign policy. 
For on the south coast, where their advance necessarily 
led to conflicts with Gela, their possessions were taken 
from them by Hippocrates, who, after the battle on the 
Helorus, victoriously advanced into the immediate vicinity 
of the city. The calamities of war shook the authority of 
the aristocracy, as was also the case with the Corinthian 
Bacchiadse (vol. i. p. 294). The two lower classes of the 
population of Syracuse combined for the purpose of a 
common rising ; the families were expelled and fled to 
Gela, to seek the support of the Tyrant in power there, 
although he had contributed more than any one else to 
their fall. This event occurred in the seventh year of 
Gelo's rule over Gela, and he contrived to take every 
possible advantage of the opportunity offering itself to 
him. He returned with the exiles to Syracuse, before a 
new political system had been established in the revolted 
city. The citizens placed their destinies in his hands, and 
Gelo was delighted to find himself so soon and so com- 
pletely master of the main object of his rule, the city in its 
state of internal discord voluntarily recognising him as 
entitled definitely to settle her domestic affairs. He 
immediately entrusted his brother Hiero 
with the administration of Gela, and him- Gcl ° 5n Syra- 

~ cuse. 01. lxxiv. 

self took up his residence at Syracuse. 2. (b.c. 484-3.) 
This event signalized the commencement of 
a new epoch both for the latter city and for the whole 
island of Sicily. 

Gelo's next task was to transform Syracuse into a great 
capital and a splendid royal residence, so as to bury the 
former state of things in oblivion, and to prevent the possi- 
bility of a reaction. For this end, he transplanted all the 
Camarinseans, and the majority of the Geloans, to Syra-*' 
cuse. He also introduced the population from the east 

220 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

coast into the new capital. On that coast, in the beautiful 
bay in the immediate vicinity of Syracuse, lay the city of 
Megara (vcl. i. p. 468), the metropolis of Selinus : hemmed 
in between the Leontinians and Syracusans, the Megafe- 
ans had been unable to raise their city to any steady con- 
dition of prosperity ; much less therefore were they likely 
to be able to withstand the overpowering strength wielded 
by their neighbor at the present time. And yet the 
nobles at Megara had resolved to defend their independ- 
ence, and to resist with all the means in their power the 
forcible incorporation of their city into the Tyrant's 
empire. Gelo was obliged to resort to a siege, before he 
could achieve his object. Syracuse was hereupon increased 
to twice her previous size. For, the population having 
long ago spread across the isthmus of Ortygia on to the 
mainland, the vast high plain of the latter, from the 
isthmus as far as the sea to the north (Achradina) was 
organized into a tow T n, and surrounded with fortifications : 
while, further inland, the quarter of the city next to 
Achradina, called Tyche, at an hour and a half or two 
hours' distance from the island, was constructed on the 
same principle. For these gigantic efforts all the labor 
at hand was employed, and most lucratively rewarded. 
Public attention was diverted from all questions regarding 
the constitution. At the same time, so many additional 
elements were infused into the population, that a revival 
of the ancient party-divisions became impossible ; the city 
was as it were founded anew ; and Gelo hereby succeeded 
in making himself personally indispensable amidst the 
multitudes flowing in from all sides, amidst the construc- 
tion of great public works and the establishment of new 
institutions, because in him alone the entire body found a 
source of security and cohesion. 

Political views The P oli( T pursued by Gelo was not that 

and measures of of an ordinary tyrant. He contrived, after 

a fashion peculiar to himself, to combine the 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 221 

principles of aristocratic and of democratic government 
Thus in Megara it had been the nobles who had taken 
arms against him, and who therefore trembled in appre- 
hension of his vengeance. Instead of suffering any 
penalty or incurring any loss, the nobles were trans- 
planted into the new capital ; but the common people, on 
the other hand, amongst whom were many Siculi and men 
of Phoenician descent, were sold into slavery abroad. The 
same procedure was adopted in the case of Chalcidian places. 
Gelo desired a great city, but one without paupers ; he 
wished for a population of as many educated and well-to- 
do citizens as possible, in which not only the particular 
interests of different classes and towns, but also the special- 
ities of the Doric and the Ionic character and habits of 
life, should be reconciled with one another. Syracuse 
may, therefore, be called the first Hellenic town #f first- 
rate importance ( Gross-stadt), because in it natives and 
foreigners enjoyed the same measure of rights and honors. 
After the fashion of the aristocratic governments, Gelo 
particularly encouraged the citizens in agricultural pur- 
suits, and kept a strict w r atch over the fields and lands, 
but at the same time allowed full play to the agencies of 
civil society, and opened all the sources of wealth offered 
by ship-building and trade; the construction of galleys 
was carried on upon the grandest scale; the population 
was exercised in the use of arms, and the entire civic com- 
munity regarded as the possessor of the supreme power. 
Accordingly, when Gelo had reached the summit of his 
power, he declared his willingness to restore the govern- 
ment into the hands of the community; for he was well 
aware that the citizens would hereupon adopt no other 
course than that of hailing him as their preserver, their 
benefactor, and their king, because on him was based the 
prosperity and security of the new city.* 

* See Note VIII. Appendix. 

222 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

His views extended far beyond the walls 
Geio's reia- f Syracuse, and even beyond the coasts of 

tions with the . . . 

mother-country, feicily. He was acquainted with the condi- 
tion of affairs in Asiatic Greece, with its in- 
ternal disruption and the power of the Great King. He 
thought that a favorable opportunity had arrived for ob- 
taining for the Siceliotes a deciding influence in the mother- 
country, and for offering a brilliant satisfaction to the 
pride with which the flourishing colonies glanced across 
the sea upon the elder Hellas (vol. i., p. 499) ; for, while 
the states of the mother-country had only recently com- 
menced to construct navies, and in the matter of land- 
troops had to depend upon the levy of their citizen militia, 
suffering at the same time from a great want of cavalry 
and light troops, — while, moreover, their pecuniary means 
were small, and their supplies of corn had to be obtained 
from distant lands; Gelo, on the other hand, possessed 
complete and well-practised military and naval forces. 
His land army, ready to take the field at any time, num- 
bered 20,000 citizens and mercenaries; besides slingsmen, 
archers, and heavy and light cavalry. The number of 
his galleys is said to have amounted to two hundred. Fur- 
thermore, he possessed a treasury and magazines of corn 
filled from the superabundance of the island. His neigh- 
bors, the Carthaginians, had manifestly taught him how 
to create an imperial power, of which the mother-country 
had no conception : beyond the sea, as well as on his own 
island, he was confronted by the national enemy, and thus 
forced to hold in readiness well-organized forces, capable 
of action at any moment; and his design could be no other 
than, with the help of these forces, to unite under his sway 
the entire island, and to complete the work of the Greek 
colonization of Sicily, which still remained unfinished. 
For this purpose he had already entered into negotiations 
with the states of the mother-country, and had particu- 
larly sought to persuade Sparta to assist him in the subjec- 

Chap. Ill ] Italy and Sicily. 223 

tion of the western part of the island. The Spartans were 
themselves not unfamiliar with schemes of the kind. A 
few years previously Dorieus, the brother of King Cleo- 
menes (vol. ii., p. 292), had fought there against Phoeni- 
cians and Ely mi, and had himself fallen in battle. Gelo 
accordingly called upon the Spartans to avenge, in combi- 
nation with himself, the death of that Heraclide, and to 
make good the failure of his adventurous enterprise by a 
well-organized campaign. He, at the same time, pointed 
out the advantages which the mother-country would derive 
from taking all the harbors of the island, which abounded 
in corn, out of the clutches of the Carthaginians, and open- 
ing them to the merchant vessels of the Greeks. Thus 
Sicily was to be constituted the centre of Greek history, 
and the King of Syracuse commander-in-chief of the Greek 
forces. Sparta had no wish, and at that time also lacked 
the power, for entering into any such schemes. But we 
may now understand why, when a few years later the en- 
voys came across from the Isthmus (vol. ii. p. 303) to 
claim federal aid against Xerxes from Gelo, 
he met them with haughty pride. He re- o^K 
garded his state as the sole great power hi- Hellenic envoys 
therto established by Greeks; he considered against Xerxes. 

the republics of the mother-countrv, as in- Oi. ixxiv.4. (b. 

» • . i.i i c - 481 -) 

ienor in resources and without the strong 

guidance of a single hand, wholly incapable of resisting 

the Persians, and therefore believed that his own aid was 

indispensable in the approaching international conflict. 

The troubles of the Greeks would, he hoped, induce the 

states of Greece Proper to recognize his well-founded 

claims to supremacy. He accordingly denwnded, as the 

condition of aid on his part, that the conduct of the war 

both by water and by land should be entrusted to himself. 

When the Spartan representative indignantly rejected the 

notion, that his kings, the successors of Agamemnon, should 

allow a foreign prince to lead the Hellenes, Gelo declared 

224 History of Greece [Book IV. 

himself ready to make one concession. He asked the en- 
voys to choose whether they would give him the conduct 
of the war by land, or of that by sea. But, as towards the 
Spartans, this proposal w r as equivalent to a motion for a 
transfer of the naval command to Syracuse; and the Athe- 
nian envoy therefore now came forward in the name of his 
state, the rise of whose power Gelo (like all the rest) failed 
to appreciate. The Athenians, he was apprized, who had 
never changed their place of habitation, ought on no ac- 
count to concede the precedence to younger states, and to 
Hellenes who had emigrated from their homes. It was 
not generals, but troops that were wanted. Thus the cities 
of the mother-country and the colonies answered pride by 
pride; no reconciliation of their respective claims was 
possible; and after a violent altercation, Gelo dismissed 
the envoys from his palace, mocking their folly after the 
fashion of the Sicilian Greeks : " Let them go home and 
tell their fellow-countrymen that their year had lost its 
spring;" i. e., that they had deprived themselves of the 
best part of the national power. 

Such is the account which Greek tradition gave of the 
embassy. The Sicilians, on the other hand, refused to 
allow that the negotiations had miscarried on the point of 
honor as to the supreme command ; they affirmed that 
Gelo had been ready, even under the hegemony of Sparta, 
to offer active federal aid, and that wars at home had 
alone prevented him from sending it. And, in truth, as 
early as two years before the expedition of Xerxes, a 
Sicilian war of the most dangerous character was immi- 
nent ; and it is therefore in the highest degree improbable, 
that so sagacious a prince as Gelo should have entertained 
serious thoughts of taking part in a war in Hellas and in 
the JEgean, especially with a force sufficiently large to 
allow him to found on it a claim for the supreme 

He could not, however, in his own interest, refrain 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 225 

from taking any part whatever in the Gelo watche8 
affairs of Greece; it was necessary for him the progress of 

. . -. . _ the Persian in- 

to be sufficiently well informed as to their vasion of Hei- 

progress, so as to be able in good time to 
shape his policy according to their course ; for if the 
Greek force should rapidly succumb, as he could not but 
expect, it was probable that the Persians, who had already 
taken measures to reconnoitre the Sicilian waters before- 
hand (vol. ii. p. 192), would not content themselves with 
the Greek mother-country. No time could be more favor- 
able for subjecting Sicily than that of the war with Car- 
thage, which had already broken out ; and therefore it be- 
hooved Gelo to use his utmost endeavors to prevent a junc- 
tion between the two hereditary foes of the Greek nation. 
He accordingly sent one of his most trustworthy servants, 
Cadmus, the son of Scythes (p. 216), to Delphi, with three 
ships and rich presents, with orders to observe thence, as 
from a neutral spot, the course of events. Cadmus was 
directed, in case of a victory of the barbarians, to offer the 
homage of Gelo to the Great King, while the latter was 
still in Greece, thus anticipating the outbreak of actual 
hostilities. Cadmus was peculiarly well adapted for this 
mission, since he had himself been governor of Cos under 
the Persian supremacy, and was, like his father before him, 
favorably esteemed at the court of the Great King. Gelo's 
own attention, on the other hand, was wholly occupied by 
the Sicilian complications, the starting-point of which was 
at Acragas.* 

Acragas, one of the youngest of the Greek 
colonies, situate between Gela and Selinus Acr ^f g ory of 
had with extraordinary rapidity passed most 
of the other cities of the island in the race (vol. i. p. 475). 
It had from the first been built in the style of a great 
town, at an hour's distance from the sea, on a broad 

* See Note IX. Appendix. 

226 History of Greece. [ B <>° K IV. 

terrace of rock, of which the precipitous walls descend 
towards the sea and towards either side, so as in many- 
places to obviate the necessity of a city wall, while 
mountains of greater height rise in the rear. The city, 
built on the successive tiers of this rocky terrace, was 
crowned by the acropolis where, at a height of 1,200 feet, 
stood the temples of the gods. The management of the 
public works was entrusted to Phalaris, an ambitious 
citizen, who took advantage of the power necessarily 
attaching to such an office (vol. ii. p. 505) to make 
himself master of the city, after the latter had existed for 
scarcely as many as tw r enty years. Doubtless, the 
influence of his rule was beneficial, in so far as it essen- 
tially contributed in a short space of time to increase the 
strength, size, and importance of the young city. But in 
other respects his government, according to universal 
tradition, was arbitrary and hated ; so that the memory 
of its fall in 01. lvii. 4 (b.c. 559 circ.) survived as that 
of a happy epoch. However, even after his overthrow, 
the community failed to enter upon a course of tranquil 
progress in its civil life; and the great difficulties 
attending upon the guidance of a heterogeneous and 
rapidly accumulating multitude continued again and 
again to place the state in the power of single rulers. 
Among the colonists who had immigrated into Acragas 
w r ere members of the family of the Emmenidse (p. 216), 
one of whom was Telemachus, who had already played an 
important part in connection with the overthrow of 
Phalaris; and after two other despots— Alcamenes and 
Alcander — had successively held sway in Acragas, the 
house of the Emmenidse once more came into the 
foreground. In Gela, ^Enesidemus had been obliged to 
give way to his rival Gelo ; whereupon he for a time 
endeavored to maintain himself in Leontini, and finally 
emigrated to Acragas, where his two sons, Thero 
and Xenocrates, succeeded in restoring the ancient 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 227 

glory of their house in a new locality, and with new 

The Tyrannical rule of the Emmenidse at 

, , -, Thcro, Tyrant 

Acragas closely corresponded, as to both f Acragas. 01. 

origin and character, to the rule of Gelo. j^ 11 / *• ^ B ' c * 

Thero was commander-in-chief of the city 

and contrived to establish a personal influence over the 

military forces ; so that in 01. lxxii. 4, (b. c. 489) he was 

able to make himself master of the city, over which he 

ruled undisturbed for a period of sixteen years. His sway 

was both wise and gentle, so that, although established by 

force of arms, it was not felt as a despotism. The best 

proof of this is derived from the fact, that even after his 

death his memory was blessed. He closely attached 

himself to his more powerful neighbor, to whom he 

married his daughter Demarete ; he not only took care to 

adorn the city under his rule with all the arts of peace, 

but even, after the example of Gelo, endeavored to 

enlarge its territory by new acquisitions. On the further 

side of the hills, from which the streams flow down 

towards Acragas, lay Himera, the colony of the Zan- 

clseans (p. 202), to which already Phularis had turned his 

attention. Himera was ruled by Terillus, the son of 

Crinippus, who imposed a severe discipline upon the 

Ionico-Doric population. With the opponents of Terillus 

Thero established communications, and expelled him in a 

successful campaign. Thero was now, like Gelo, ruler on 

two coasts of the island. But Terillus was not devoid of 

friends ; he was allied with Anaxilaus, his son-in-law, and 

exerted every means of resistance, placing his chief hope 

in Carthage.* 

In Carthage the Phoenicians had created a power 

* Death of Phalaris, 01. Ivii. 4. (b. c. 549). — Hieronymus,Ti7Ae/xaxov 
tov KOLTakvaavTos rbv <£. 7rcus yiverai 'E/AjotevtS^?, oi ©vj'pwv xal HevoKpdrqs • Schol- 
Pind. 01. iii. 68.— Terillus : Her. vii. 165. 

228 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

The Carthao-i- sucn as ^hey nac * never called into life in 
man empire and their mother- country — an empire extend- 

its power. . , , 

mg between sea and desert in a country 
of inexhaustible resources, and surrounded on all sides 
by strong fortified posts. With Carthage for its base 
the Phoenician power, after being driven back at all 
points in the Eastern waters, endeavored to maintain 
itself in the Western Mediterranean. As Carthaginians, 
the Phoenicians avenged their former losses upon the 
Hellenes, and set a limit to the advance, hitherto un- 
checked, of the Hellenic power ; in Africa they defended 
the frontiers of their empire against Cyrene and Barca, 
and in Sicily they maintained their possessions against 
Selinus and Acragas. The outposts of the African 
empire were the small islands to the south and south-west 
of Sicily, which were as troublesome to the Greek towns 
as iEgina had formerly been to Athens ; particularly 
Gaulus (Gozzo) and Melite (Malta), whose precipitous 
shores and harbors, readily admitting of being closed, 
constituted it a fortress in the midst of the sea, and a naval 
station of incomparable excellence. 

In proportion as wars at home claimed the attention of 
the Phoenician cities in the mother-country, Carthage 
found herself forced to occupy an independent position, 
and not only to assert the interests of her own trade, but 
also to assume a hegemony over the other staples and 
colonies of the Phoenicians, which were neglected by the 
mother-country. In the sixth century b. c. we find 
Carthage appearing as a warlike power. The Hellenic 
colonization of Sicily, in consequence, comes to a sudden 
standstill ; the Khodians and Cnidians are, about the year 
580 b. c. (01. 1), driven back from Lilybseum ; the Car- 
thaginians combine more closely with the Elymi on the 
one hand, and with the Tyrrhenians on the other, occupy 
Sardinia, with the aid of the Tyrrhenians clear Cyrnus 
(Corsica) of the Phocseans, (who had with much audacity 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 229 

intruded into the waters claimed by the Carthaginians as 
their own,) and, after the loss of the Liparian islands 
(vol. i. p. 477), with increased obstinacy retain their 
hold upon the western point of Sicily and the iEgates. 
In these regions they were masters of three strong points : 
Motye on the west coast, with a harbor of war well 
defended by rocky islands, serving as a point of commu- 
nication with Africa; on the north coast, serving as a 
means of communication with Sardinia, Panormus, the 
best naval station in Sicily ; and, lastly, Solois. Thus the 
boundary-line, separating the Hellenic dominion on land 
aDd water from the non-Hellenic, passed straight across 
Sicily from the north-east to the south-west. 

Neither side could remain satisfied with this state of 
things. The Carthaginians felt themselves at all points con- 
fined, endangered, and excluded from the most important 
sea-routes, and more especially from the Sicilian sound. 
The vigorous rise of the Rhodian towns had long filled 
the Carthaginians with suspicion and jealousy ; and when 
Syracuse became a great harbor of war, and when the two 
powerful dynasties in Syracuse and Acragas drew the 
bonds of their alliance closer and closer, until they 
formed a united naval and military power, no doubts 
could remain as to the objects of these armaments. To 
this were added the complications in the East, which 
brought forward in a clearer light than ever the ancient 
opposition between Hellenes and Phoenicians. To Tyro 
and Sidon had belonged the ships by which Ionia had 
been conquered (vol. ii. p. 204); and on the auxiliary 
forces of the Phoenicians the Persians had based their 
principal hopes of victory, when undertaking their expe- 
dition against Hellas. The kings of Tyre and Sidon were 
the foremost vassals of Xerxes (vol. ii. p. 318). And, 
since already Darius had extended his plans against 
Hellas as. far as the western colonies of the Hellenes : how 
could the Persians have neglected to reckon upon the 

230 History of Greece. [ Bo;,K IV - 

colonies of the Phoenicians for the execution of then 
schemes ? (As early as the time of Cambyses they had 
intended to make use of the resources of Carthage for the 
objects of their empire.) How, moreover, could the 
Phoenicians themselves, in the mother-country or in the 
colonies, have omitted to take thought of using the 
circumstances of the times for overthrowing the naval 
dominion of the Hellenes in the West as well as in the 
East ? There is therefore no reason for questioning the 
fact of the embassies said to have been sent to Carthage 
by the Great Kings.* 

Carthage had never been so powerful, and so well pre- 
pared for war, as she was at the present moment. From 
a colonizing, she had changed into a conquering state. 
The real author of this bolder line of policy, the founder 
of the warlike power of Carthage, was Mago, or Anno as 
(Herodotus calls him). He had given a systematic 
organization to the army, and had introduced a strict code 
of military regulations, such as was imperatively neces- 
sary in the case of an army made up of so many hetero- 
geneous elements. For in the Carthaginian army, the 
citizens formed a small minority ; the main body of the 
troops consisted of Numidians and Libyans, Baleares, 
Spaniards and Gauls, Ligurians and Italicans, and Greek 
mercenaries. Herein lay furthermore the reason for 
investing the generals with extraordinary powers ; they 
held royal sway over the forces, and, after once proving 
themselves worthy of trust, were left in office for an 
unlimited period : their powers were even allowed to 
descend to their sons, who had grown up in arms under 
their guidance, so that a. kind of dynasty of generals 

* Ephorus ap. Schol. Pind. Pith. i. 146 (Fragm. Hist. Gr. i. p. 264) ; 
and Diodor. xi. 20. Duncker, iv. p. 864, doubts the fact of a mutual 
agreement. Carthage in the fifth century, Mommsen, Hist, of Rome, vol. 
ii. p. 13 [Am. Ed.] Movement of Rhodians and Cnidians to Lipara; 
Diod. v. 5. 

c " A p ' l l L] Italy and Sicily. 231 

formed itself, especially as the dignity of the City-king or 
Supreme Judge appears to have been occasionally con- 
ferred upon the generals. Thus the house of Mago at 
that time stood at the head of the state, its influence being 
based not only upon the military talents and governing 
capacities, but also upon the superior degree of culture 
which characterized its members. Greek civilization con- 
tributed very essentially to the flourishing condition of 
the entire state (vol. i. p. 485) ; and the house of Mago 
was pre-eminently connected with Greek families by the 
bonds of mutual hospitality and relationship. Hamilcar 
or Amilcar, the son of Mago, was married to a Syracusan 
wife ; and another member of the same house was Anno, 
or Hanno, who made the great voyage of discovery into 
the Atlantic along the coasts of West Africa, and com- 
posed a narrative of his voyage, of which fragments have 
been preserved to us in a Greek translation.* 

After Hasdrubal, the elder son of Mago, had fallen in 
battle in Sardinia, Hamilcar filled the office 

. The intervention 

oi commander-in-chiei. .Personal motives f Carthage in 
could not but very strongly incline him j^.j afiairs of 
to intervene in the affairs of Sicily ; and 
he accordingly used his best endeavors to recommend 
Terillus to the protection of the Carthaginians, when the 
former came to Africa as a fugitive from Himera — par- 
ticularly as the two men were connected by rites of hospi- 
tality. Terillus at the same time procured for the Car- 
thaginians the advantage of an alliance with Anaxilaus, 
(who ruled over the two cities on the Sicilian sound,) 
and went so far in his jealousy against the splendor of the 
Tyrants of Syracuse and of Acragas, as to deliver up his 
two sons to the Carthaginians as hostages of his fidelity. 
Furthermore, the Selinuntians were, from motives of 
hatred against Acragas, on the side of Carthage. Thus 

* Oeogr. minores, ed. C. Miiller, i. p. xviii. ; B'ahr ad Herod, vii. 165. 

232 History oj Greece. C BooK IV. 

the Sicilian Greeks were disunited amongst themselves ; 
in addition to which the Siculi in the interior of the 
island were hostile to the coast-towns, while there was not 
the slightest chance of aid from the mother-country. 
Hence the position of affairs could not possibly have been 
more favorable for an attack upon the Sicilian Greeks; 
and the intentions of Hamilcar were doubtless directed to 
no less an aim, than that of making Sicily a vassal-state 
of Carthage, similar to what Sardinia had already become. 
The expedition actually undertaken was accordingly 
planned on the grandest scale. Two hundred galleys set 
sail, accompanied by an immense fleet of transports. 
The numbers of the land-troops are stated at 300,000 ; 
though even less confidence should be placed in the num- 
bers given in this instance, than in that of the Persian 
hosts which inundated Hellas about the same period. 
Of the horsemen of chariots a large proportion perished, 
before Hamilcar reached Panormus. He next marched 
before Himera, and pitched a double camp, one for the 
land-army, the other for the ships, which he caused to be 
drawn on shore, the coast hereabouts being devoid of 
harbors. He risked everything upon the attempt to 
take the city from Thero, intending to constitute it a new 
position and a basis of military operations for the Cartha^ 
ginians in Sicily. 

The situation of Himera was extremely 

Hamilcar be- . , , _ 1 

sieges Himera. strong. A broad terrace of hills descends 

480circ ) ^ °* w ^ ki& n ana< steep borders towards the 
plain of the coast, and again into the valley 
of the river, protecting the city in the southeast : on its 
other sides the city-height communicates with the 
mountains and their gorges. One solitary road leads up 
from the shore, ascending by a narrow pass between the 
borders of the city and a conical elevation jutting out 
by itself (cozzo delta Signora). The siege protracted 
itself, and the allies found time to unite their forces, before 

Chap, hi.] Italy and Sicily. 233 

the superior number of the enemy had been able to inflict 
damage upon them separately. To protect the city, Gelo 
built a fortified camp in the valley of the river, whence 
he could communicate both with the city and the country 
of the interior, and where he at the same time remained 
unobserved by the enemy ; while, on the other hand, a 
full view could be obtained from the city of the double 
camp of the Carthaginians, and of all the movements in 
progress there. The Syracusans made most successful 
use of their cavalry, falling upon the enemy as soon as an 
open space had been reached. Soon the Himerseans felt 
entirely free from danger, while the besiegers themselves 
had to endure a dangerous siege, and anxiously looked for 
a reinforcement of cavalry from Selinus. By the capture 
of messengers sent by the enemy, Gelo learned the day of 
the expected arrival of this reinforcement, and succeeded on 
the day in question in introducing a body of his own 
cavalry, unrecognized by the enemy, into the entrench- 
ments of the latter, contriving at the same time, as we 
may conjecture, to stop the genuine rein- 
forcement. As soon as Gelo had from the a tHimera. 
heights above assured himself of the suc- 
cess of his stratagem, he at the head of all his forces set 
out from the valley of the river to storm the enemy's 
camp. When the Carthaginians rushed to meet his onset, 
they beheld in their rear the flames ascending from their 
ships, which the cavalry of the enemy, furtively intro- 
duced into their lines, had set on fire. Hamilcar himself 
fell, according to one account slain by the horsemen, 
while among his countrymen the story went that he had 
sought a voluntary death in the flames of the sacrifice 
which he was engaged in offering up. After his fall the 
heterogeneous mass of troops, which his personal influence 
alone had held together, dispersed in wild confusion. 
Only a small number found a refuge on the ships which 
had escaped the conflagration. 

234 History of Greece. [Book rv\ 

This was the victory of Himera, — a vic- 
Importance tory which the Hellenes were justified in 

and results ot J 

the victory. regarding as a worthy counterpart of the 
battles of the War of Liberation in the 
mother-country. And, in truth, notwithstanding several 
differences, the two cases have many points in common. 
In Sicily, no less than in Greece, the superior numbers of 
the barbarians succumbed to Hellenic sagacity and 
bravery ; in either case it was the overthrow of a hostile 
invasion designed to restore a Greek dynasty, and in 
either the two great powers made a combined resistance 
against the national enemy, while the secondary and 
lesser states partly stood on his side. In the mother- 
country the victory was purchased by a more protracted 
struggle and by heavier sacrifices ; in Sicily one day 
brought with it the final decision and unmeasured gain, 
since no opening for retreat was left to the defeated foe : 
the numbers of the prisoners were such that they after- 
wards formed an entire class of servile population ; the 
whole of Libya, it was said, had been taken prisoner in 
Sicily. The circumstauce that the Greeks assigned the 
date of the victory of Himera to the very day on which 
the battle either of Thermopylae or of Salamis was fought, 
is due to a tradition which had no other origin than the 
wish to exaggerate the marvellous, and to make the pro- 
vidential interference of the gods in the humiliation of 
the barbarians assume a still more startling aspect.* 

After the complete rout of her army and fleet Carthage 
entertained no thought of continuing the war, but con- 

* Expulsion of Terillus, b. c. 482. (Boeckh), Expl. Pind. p. 117. The 
Greeks strove to give a more expressive aspect to history : this end was 
served by the contemporaneous dating of events, which realized the idea 
of a divine Nemesis. For the critical view of the traditional account, 
see Niebuhr's Lectures on Ancient History, vol. ii. p. 103 (Eng. Tr.) y 
where the date of the battle is placed several years earlier. The cautious 
phrase of Aristotle, Poet. c. 23, is nard. tous avrous \p6vovs, ef. Bergk, 
Philol. Vers. Zu Halle (Leipzig, 1868), p. 27. 

Chap, hi.] Italy and Sicily. 235 

tented herself with endeavoring to save what was to be 
saved. Gelo's readiness to grant a peace, in which the 
Carthaginians were allowed to retain possession even of 
their Sicilian dominions, was probably caused by his desire 
to secure freedom of action for assuming the position 
appearing best to him in the Persian wars, upon the 
results of which he maintained an expectant watch. For 
this purpose his attention was in the first instance directed 
to the increase of his pecuniary means, as well as of his 
military forces ; and in this respect he obtained the great- 
est advantages by means of the rich booty and the 2,000 
talents which Carthage had to pay as costs of the war, as 
well as by the large number of prisoners. At the same 
time the delicate attention with which he treated his ally 
Thero, and the wise clemency which he observed towards 
his subjects and the other Greeks, caused even the cities 
previously hostile to do homage to him ; so that under his 
leadership the resources of the Sicilian Greeks were 
united as one imperial force. 

He was not, however, permitted to employ 
this force for new victories. Contrary to Death of Gelo. 

, . . t t-» • .01. lxxvi. 1. (b. 

his expectations, the Persian wars were de- c . 476.) 
cided before he was able to throw the weight 
of his power into the scale ; and after living to hear the 
news of the first deeds of the Athenians in an offensive ex- 
pedition against Persia, he died (of the dropsy) in 01. 
lxxvi. 1 (b.c. 476). Even in death he gave proof of his 
moderation, by his testamentary injunction, that he should 
be buried, in accordance with his own sumptuary laws, like 
an ordinary citizen, and far away from the city. Doubly 
honorable to him, therefore, was the voluntary participa- 
tion of the entire population, which was not prevented by 
a distance of several miles from testify icg its gratitude to 
the man who had made the little island-city great and 
powerful, who had founded it anew, and beneficently 
governed it as a just and courteous prince. 

236 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

For the same reason the citizens were 
Hiero Tyrant a j g0 mc i mec [ i bestow their confidence upon 

of Syracuse. 01. * 

ixxvi. i-ixxviii. the members of Gelo's family. He had 
4 * 67 ( f' c himself in his last will appointed his 

brother Hiaro, or Hiero, regent during the 
minority of his son ; while Polyzelus, his other brother, 
in whom he reposed special confidence, was to marry his 
widow, conduct the education of his son, and fill the 
office of commander of the troops. But it became im- 
possible permanently to carry out these injunctions. 
Hiero, who now transferred his residence from Gela to 
Syracuse, was a man of passionate temperament, and 
unwilling to rest satisfied with a title of regent while 
deprived of dominion and power. He accordingly en- 
deavored to rid himself of Polyzelus, by giving orders to 
the latter intended to bring about his death. Hiero sur- 
rounded himself with followers absolutely devoted to his 
person ; and the court divided itself into two parties, the 
followers of Hiero and the adherents of Polyzelus and 
Thero. In the end Polyzelus, notwithstanding his popu- 
larity among the citizens, was forced to seek a refuge 
with his father-in-law. The two cities, between which it 
had been a chief desire of Gelo to maintain a cordial 
understanding, armed for war against one another ; on 
the river Gela their armies met for a decisive battle ; and 
it was only with great difficulty that a reconciliation was 
effected, and a new connection between the two dynasties 
established, by means of a marriage between Hiero and a 
niece of the ruler of Acragas. This settlement corre- 
sponded to the wishes of Hiero, because he had already 
carried his ambitious schemes far beyond Sicily,* the 
demands for assistance made by the Italian Greeks 

* As to the remembrance of Gelo in Sicily, Plut. Timol. 23 ; Leake, 
Transactions of the Boy. Soc. of Lit. iii. 370. Concerning the tomb of 
Gelo conflicting statements occur in Diod. xi. 38 and xiv. 63. 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 237 

offering an opportunity for undertakings of a wider scope 
and of more glorious promise. 

In Italy the Greeks had greater diffi- 
culty In maintaining themselves than in Greeks. Their 
most of the other countries beyond the sea stru gg les with 

. , the Tyrrhenians 

colonized by them, particularly on the west 
coast, where they were opposed, not only by the sturdy 
tribes in the interior of the peninsula, but also by a peo- 
ple powerful at sea. The Tyrrhenians, inhabiting the 
coast of Southern Etruria, were the same people against 
whom the Phocseans (vol. ii. p. 148) had already struggled 
in the disastrous conflict, in consequence of which they 
were forced to relinquish the island of Cyrnus (Corsica) 
together with the town of Alalia. This people was 
doubly dangerous, because in this case Greek forces 
opposed Greeks. For, according to an ancient tradition, 
the Tyrrhenians were connected with the people of the 
same name inhabiting the valley of the Cayster above 
Ephesus ; nor is there any reasonable ground for doubting 
that, in the time when the Pelasgo-Ionic population of 
Asia Minor spread itself by sea and, following in the 
courses of the Phoenicians, swarmed over the coasts of the 
Western sea, a settlement of this description was also 
effected in the coast-land of Etruria, situate along the line 
of the sea to the north of the mouth of the Tiber, and 
that this settlement laid the earliest foundations of Greek 
civilization in those regions (vol. i. p. 461). This civiliza- 
tion could not, however, attain to an undisturbed develop- 
ment, because it could not resist the invasion of foreign 
elements ; for, although the communication with the 
mother-country never ceased, although in the middle of 
the seventh century b. c. a new emigration of Greek 
families came in from Corinth on the occasion of the over- 
throw of the Bacchiadse (vol. i. p. 294), yet the national 
characteristics of the Greeks could not here maintain 
themselves free and undisturbed, and the settlements on 

238 History of Greece. [ BooK IV « 

the coast fell into a state of dependence upon powers in 
the interior. One of these powers was that of the Etrus- 
cans (who in the sixth century vigorously 
spread as far as Campania), which included 
the Tyrrhenian places in its confederation of towns, and 
which thus availed itself of the forces of the Greek 
population. At the same time no complete amalgamation 
took place. The coast-towns of Pisse, Alsium, Agylla, 
and Pyrgi never ceased to display their Greek origin. 
Agylla, afterwards called Caere (situate fourteen miles to 
the north of the mouth of the Tiber), the chief settlement 
of the Tyrrhenians, had a treasury of its own at Delphi ; 
obedient to the Pythian god, it expiated the guilt of blood 
incurred by its treatment of the Phocsean prisoners; it 
retained a Hellenic sense for municipal law, and further 
distinguished itself from the barbarians by respecting 
international statutes. From Caere culture of the most 
manifold description spread through the surrounding 
countries. But these coast-towns, notwithstanding, became 
so estranged from the people of their mother-country, that, 
like the Elymi in Sicily, they opposed it as enemies — an 
opposition doubly dangerous, inasmuch as the Tyrrhenians, 
in order to keep all disturbing intrusion on the part of the 
Hellenes away from their sea, from an early date main* 
tained a connection with the Carthaginians. By means oi 
this connection they had been able to place a barrier im 
the way of the progress of Greek colonization in Lower 
Italy, and particularly in the way of the 
Achsean towns. Thus it had happened that 
Cyme, on the Gulf of Naples (vol. i. p. 464), had been 
left in utter isolation, at a great distance from all settle- 
ments connected with it by descent, so as to constitute a 
solitary outpost of Hellenic civilization, exposed to the 
attacks of the barbarians. For the latter endeavored to 
extend their dominion to the south. Fear of their ships 
was felt as far as the eastern sea, so that Anaxilaus estab- 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 239 

lished a fortified position near the promontory of Scyl- 
lseum, as a station for men-of-war, and as a bar excluding 
the Tyrrhenian privateers from the straits of Messina. 
At the same time the power of the Etruscans by land con- 
tinued to press upon the citizens of Cyme from the north, 
and the distance at which their city was threatened was 
constantly on the decrease. The high-minded Cymseans, 
indeed, displayed an admirable vigor of resistance ; about 
01. lxiv. (b.c. 524) they warded off a powerful armada 
of the barbarians (whose numbers, as in so many under- 
takings of the same kind, were the very cause of their 
ruin) ; and even sent support to the citizens 
of Aricia against the common enemy. But H - Succored h ? 
new dangers followed in rapid succession, 
and the Cymseans were in the end, about 01. lxxvi. 3 
(b.c. 475), obliged to seek help from abroad. They 
applied to the most powerful Hellenic prince in their 
vicinity, to Hiero of Syracuse ; the Sicilian fleet achieved 
a splendid victory ; and to this day a helmet is preserved 
of the Tyrrhenian spoils, dedicated by Hiero to Zeus in 

When the powerful arm of Hiero 
reached as far as the Gulf of Naples, and Z^uofm^T 
when the only two naval powers whose 
opposition remained dangerous to the Greeks had been 
thoroughly humiliated, the authority of the ruler of 
Syracuse advanced with more and more powerful strides 
among the Greeks themselves. Even before his Cymsean 
campaign he had asserted himself as peacemaker at the 
southern extremity of Italy. In this quarter a war had 
broken out between Locri and Rhegium. The restless 
Anaxilaus had attacked his neighbors, with the design of 

* Agyllaeans in Delphi : Herod, i. 167. '0 'AyvKXaCuiv KaXov/xevos flrjo-avpd?, 
Strab. 220. Victory at Cyme; Diod. xi. 51, Str. 248. Pindar Pyth. 1. 
Helmet of Hiero : C. I. Gr. n. 16. Kirchoff, Studien zur Gesch. d. gr. Alph, 
p. 196. 

240 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

extending his dominion on the peninsula, since he had no 
prospect of increasing it in Sicily itself. Hiero sent 
across his brother-in-law Chrominus, and by simply 
issuing his word of command prevented the ambitious 
Tyrant from proceeding further. Anaxilaus, without 
attempting resistance, gave way ; and the Locrians thus 
owed to the ruler cf Syracuse the preservation of their 
independence. In Sicily itself a change was produced by 
the death of Thero (01. lxxvi. 4, or lxxvii. 1 ; B.C. 472). 
His wise moderation had made Acragas great and 
nourishing, without endangering the continuance of peace 
with Syracuse, on which the welfare of the island 
depended. His son Thrasydseus was of a different tem- 
perament. He was unwilling to acknowledge the hege- 
mony of Syracuse, and accordingly assembled an army 
of 20,000 men from the cities of the western part of the 
island ; but the victory was gained by Hiero, although he 
was himself carried in a litter during the battle. Thra- 
sydseus forfeited both dominion and life ; and the supre- 
macy of Syracuse was henceforth recognised more com- 
pletely than ever in Italy and Sicily.* 

But the energies of Hiero were by no 
His foundation means CO nnned to warlike undertakings. 

of cities. ° 

He was anxious to perpetuate his name in 
an equal degree by works of peace, and to avail himself 
of his power for calling into life new foundations of 
permanent importance. Thus he sent colonists to the 
islands which lie on the west coast of Italy opposite Cape 
Misenum, and caused a fortified city to be built on the 
principal of these islands (the modern Ischia) ; a proof, 
how completely he had put an end to the resistance of the 
Tyrrhenians, and how boldly he was able to push forward 
the outposts of the Hellenic power towards the north. 

* Locri and Rhegium : Schol. Pind. Pyih. ii. 35. Thrasydseus : 

Diod. xi. 53. 

Chap. III.] Sicily and Italy. 241 

From these islands the Chalcidians had formerly crossed 
to the mainland in order to found Cyme (vol. i. p. 464) ; 
and Hiero equally proved his anxiety to "assert the Dorian 
power at the points where the Ionians had exerted their 
energies, in Sicily, where, in the regions inhabited by a 
Chalcidico-Ionian population, he founded a new city with 
Doric ordinances. This foundation was his favorite 
achievement, in the execution of which he shrank from 
no measure of force ; the communities of Naxos (vol. i. p. 
467) and of Catana were removed ; the Ionic population 
which had here for centuries led a happy and honorable 
life, in conformity with the laws of Charondas, was forced 
to herd together in Leontini, where a watchful eye might 
be kept upon it from Syracuse ; and hereupon a new 
town was built in the locality of the destroyed city of 
Catana, at the base of Mount ^Etna, from which it 
received its name. Here Hiero settled 10,000 citizens 
from Syracuse, Gela, Megara, and Peloponnesus, and 
established his son Dinomenes as Governor. Hiero took 
pride in calling himself a citizen of jEtna, and in making 
the name of the new city known beyond the sea, by means 
of brilliant victories which he and his kinsmen achieved 
in the horse and the mule-race.* 

Hiero was indeed not allowed to partici- 
pate in the festive games of the Hellenes J* *$*££% 
without a protest. As is related on credi- offerings at 
ble authority, his right to such a partici- y m P ia * 
pation was violently contested by Themistocles (vol. ii. p. 
390). On this occasion we for the first time observe a 
hostile feeling between Athens and Syracuse, a feeling of 
mutual animosity, the reasons for which it is easy to 
discover. For the Sicilian rulers were vexed, that the 
great deeds in the JEgean should have been successfully 
accomplished without their help ; while, on the other 

* Ischia (AU-apta) : Strab. 248.— -JStna; ib. 268. 

242 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

hand, their well-earned glory excited the jealousy of the 
Athenians, who were unwilling to offer to the victories of 
the Sicilian Hellenes the kind of acknowledgment to 
which the latter laid claim. Moreover, the dynasts of 
Syracuse pursued a policy of avowed hostility against the 
Ionic race ; and as the relations between Sparta and the 
Athenians became less amicable, the latter could not but 
see in the Sicilian towns, and particularly in the newly- 
founded iEtna, dangerous props of the Dorian power. 
For the same reasons, on the other hand, the Peloponne- 
gians were well-affected towards the Sicilian rulers ; they 
were delighted when the splendid studs of horses and 
mules landed on the banks of the Alpheus, and invested 
the Olympian festivals with an unwonted grandeur. The 
federal sanctuary of the Peloponnesians was thus 
acknowledged as the centre of the Greek world ; and, 
like the earlier Tyrants of the mother-country, the Sicilian 
princes evinced a constant anxiety to offer their homage to 
the national sanctuaries. The Acragantines, in memory 
of their victory over the Phoenician city of Motye, 
erected upon the walls of Olympia a series of figures of 
boys engaged in prayer ; Anaxilaus, in remembrance of 
his Olympic victory, caused coins to be struck bearing 
upon them a representation of his team of mules ; and 
Hiero, who obtained victories on the Alpheus in the 
threefold character of a Geloan, a Syracusan, and an 
iEtnsean citizen, commissioned Calamis and Onatas (vol. 
ii. p. 601) to sculpture for Olympia bronze-groups repre- 
senting his four-horse chariots and racers. At Olympia* 
the city of Gela owned its separate treasure-house in the 
immediate vicinity of the stadium, and in it were pre- 
served the dedicatory gifts of the Dinomenidse. And on 
the occasion of the victory of Himera another separate 

* Hiero in Olympia: See vol. ii. Appendix, Note xliv. Kapxri&oviotv 
9r)aavp6%: Paus. vi. 19, 7; Brunn, Gesch. d. gr. Kunstler, ii. 339. 

Chap, in.] Italy and Sicily. 243 

edifice was erected, the so-called treasure-house of the 
Carthaginians, where spoils taken from the barbarians and 
dedicatory gifts were deposited. 

But, besides endeavoring by means of 
victories and the exhibition of their royal Thc Tyrants 

. ' of Syracuse as 

splendor to spread their tame in Greece and patrons of poets. 
to attract universal attention, the rulers of 
Syracuse also sought to secure the support of the leading 
poets of the mother-country, who were to celebrate their 
deeds and obtain for them recognition, as having taken 
equal part with the other Greeks in the great struggle 
between Hellenes and barbarians. This intellectual 
approximation was the less difficult, inasmuch as the 
western colonies had never become estranged from the 
mother-country, while their high prosperity had operated 
very beneficially upon the general development of intel- 
lectual life. From the very first they stood in the midst 
of so grand and extensive an intercourse of nations, that 
even in the Doric cities no unbending Dorism could assert 
itself. The Ionic poets were as well known in Sicily as in 
the mother-country ; and through Cinsethus of Chios, one 
of the Homeric hymn-poets, Syracuse was familiar with 
the art of the Rhapsodes. Among the personal followers 
of the founder of Syracuse we already meet with a poet, 
the Bacchiade Eumelus (vol. i. p. 293 ) ; and the uninter- 
rupted continuance of intellectual intercourse with Hellas 
Proper is evidenced in the person of Arion, the contem- 
porary of Periander and a Lesbian poet, who in the 
Sicilian towns also met with an enthusiastic reception. 

But Sicily, besides maintaining an intel- 
lectual connection with the mother-country, life Il ^ 1, ^^J 
also gave birth to independent tendencies before the age 

t n n , i i of the Tyrants. 

and new forms ot art, such as were always 
wont principally to develop themselves where different 
tribes of the Greek nationality united, and where trans- 
migrations from one locality into the other called forth a 

244 History of Greece, L BoOK IV - 

lively interchange of ideas and inventions. This is very 
clearly proved by the first and greatest of all Sicilian 
poets, Stesichorus, whose parents had crossed 
Stesichorus to Sicily from Mataurus. This was a colony 
of the Locrians; and the family of Stesi- 
chorus was thus connected with those parts of the mother- 
country, where the iEolic poetry of Hesiod enjoyed 
general popularity ; while Himera, the birthplace of the 
poet, was a semi-Ionic, semi-Doric town. Under these 
circumstances, he succeeded, in an even higher degree 
than his contemporary Arion, in vindicating to himself a 
legislatorial position in the development of Greek poetry. 
Stesichorus addressed himself to an epical subject, not 
with the design of spinning it out in full and equal 
breadth, but he rather presented this subject to the view 
of his public in the shape of single compositions, and 
made use of it for poems adapted for public production by 
many voices, accompanied by the cither and dances. 
This transition from epic into lyric poetry, from Ionic 
into Doric art, was an exceedingly important step in the 
development of the national poetry of the Greeks ; the 
Homeric myths were revived after a new fashion ; and at 
the same time a strong foundation was laid for choral 
poetry, and in particular for the strophic structure of 
Greek rhythms — a basis which the Hellenes never after- 
wards relinquished. In everything handed down to us of 
Stesichorus we recognize an uncommonly vigorous and 
creative genius, which had at its command an abundance 
of learning and practical experience. He w r as acquainted 
with distant Tartessus, and equally at home in Hellas and 
in Ionia. 

Khegium, situate in the vicinity of Himera, was, like 
the latter, half Doric and half Ionic. Bhegium was the 
birthplace of Ibycus, whose journeys as a 
Ibyoua. poet led him as far as the court of Poly- 

crates (vol. ii. p. 164). He followed closely 

Chap, ill.] Italy and Sicily. 245 

in the footsteps of Stesichorus ; but in Ibycus the severe 
solemnity of Doric choral poetry appears in a softened 
form, and his Muse devoted herself with particular suc- 
cess to the ardent expression of the passion of love. The 
most distinctive features in the life of the Western Greeks 
were their festive games and mimic dances, which formed 
part of the celebration of Dionysus and of the joyou3 
harvest-feasts belonging to the worship of Demeter — a 
national worship in Sicily ; both of which here, as in the 
mother-country, called forth a sportive kind of popular 
poetry in a dramatic form. The Siceliotes were particu- 
larly qualified for enlivening such festive games with deli- 
cate conceits of wit, because the co-existence on their 
island of so many kinds of human usages and habits 
offered to the inhabitants manifold opportunities of 
observation, and because they possessed an inexhaustible 
fund of wit, enabling them to discover in everything its 
characteristic and humorous element. In Selinus, where 
barbaric and Hellenic usages of life came into the closest 
contact, Aristoxenus first sounded the note 
of sportive Iambic verse, which remained Aristoxenus. 
the standard for the later comedy of the 
Siceliotes ; and the .spirit of this form of poetry seems to 
be so intimately connected with the island and its habits 
and customs of life, that even the poets who immigrated 
into Sicily from abroad were strangely seized upon by it, 
as in the case of Epicharmus. And if we take into con- 
sideration how philosophy also — which was 
at that time rising into importance — was Philosophy, 

-. .. , . -nr *~* i -r» i political science, 

domesticated in Western Greece by rytna- and plastic art. 
goras of Samos, and by Xenophanes of 
Colophon (vol. ii. p. 466) ; how, in particular, the criti- 
cal tendency of the Eleatic school deeply pervaded these 
countries, and by shaking the foundations of traditional 
dogmas called forth a free-thinkiug tendency here at a far 
earlier date than in the mother-country ; if we further 

246 History of Greece. t BoOK Iv * 

remember how practical statesmanship and written law 
developed in the Chalcidian states, how the plastic arts 
also flourished in these regions from an early age — e. g.. 
sculpture in Rhegium, the native city of Clearchus (vol. 
ii. p. 82), and architecture in Acragas, Selinus, and Syra- 
cuse — we may form some conception of the splendid 
height of culture to which the population had advanced, 
when the Tyrants of Gela and Acragas urged Sicilian 
history into a great and brilliant course, which could not 
but cause intellectual life to press forward with equal 
vigor and ardor.* 

In the Greek states a monarchical form of government 

always proved advantageous to the advance of art and 

science, as is sufficiently attested by the history of the 

earlier Tyrants. But in Sicily Tyrannical government 

was a kind entirely peculiar. Here it had 

Intellectual hfe a j. -^ comman( j f ar m0 re considerable re- 
in Sicily under 

the Tyrants. sources, and popular forces at an incom- 
parably higher stage of development. In 
Sicily the Tyrants were men of ancient race, born aris- 
tocrats, who ruled in Royal fashion — men of great virtues 
as rulers, and of mild and generous character, who stood 
at the head of the national movement, and whose policy 
it was to surround themselves with the most eminent 
personages of the nation. Gelo, it is true, was himself 
unacquainted with art; he was, like his father, a genuine 
cavalry general ; and when, on the occasion of a festival, 
it was his turn to sing to the cither, he is said, in order to 
display the art which he professed, to have called for his 
horse. But he was at the same time able 
Sicilian Com- to a pp rec i ate talent ; he attached such men 

as the wise Phormis (or Phormus) to his 

* Aristoxenus, the predecessor of Epicharmus (Schol. Ar. Plut. 487) 
was a native of Selinus, according to Eusebius, the contemporary a 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 247 

court, and confided to him the education of his children. 
Phormis was a comic poet, and his presence 

x x Phormis. 

at the court of Gelo proves the esteem m 
which comedy was held. Epicharmus was especially 
instrumental in making this branch of the drama popular 
at Syracuse. 

Epicharmus, the son of Helothales, was . 

born on the island of Cos; but he had 
crossed thence to Sicily at so early a period of his life, 
that he might be regarded as a genuine Sicilian ; and 
although he brought over with him from the home of his 
race certain tastes and tendencies — above all, his interest 
in medical science — yet it was in Sicily that his genius 
was first directed into the course to which he owed his 
literary fame. He spent his youth and the greater part 
of his life at Megara, in Sicily. The citizens of this 
little community were, like the Megareans in Hellas, 
particularly distinguished by natural gifts qualifying 
them for the production and appreciation of humorous fes- 
tive plays and mimic representations ; and the aristocracy 
which held sway at Megara (p. 220) must have encou- 
raged this form of popular entertainment, so that it at- 
tained to a certain degree of estimation, was furnished 
with a chorus, and raised in character by means of pub- 
lic competitive representations. Epicharmus perceived 
the germs of culture in these popular plays ; and accord- 
ingly, after enriching his intellectual resources by means of 
a variety of studies — in particular deriving from Pytha- 
goras, in Italy, an impulse towards deeper views of life 
and loftier aims — he returned to Megara, and hereupon 
attempted to transform the popular farce into a form of 
art to which a poetic value and a moral significance 
attached. In this attempt he was successful, and this at 
a much earlier date than that of the admission and 
refinement of the Megarean farce at Athens. It is prob- 
able that the comedies of Epicharmus were produced at 

248 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

Megara as early as 01. lxviii. seq. (b.c. 508 or later); 
and, when subsequently Megara ceased to exist as a city, 
and the inhabitants with the most valuable of their belong- 
ings were transplanted to Syracuse (p. 221), Epicharmus 
and his comedy emigrated with them to the new capital, 
which, like Athens in Hellas, gradually attracted to itself 
all important phenomena which had shown themselves in 
the surrounding countries. 

„ . , Syracuse was not, however, a republic 

Epicharmus ,., A . .. . x 

in Syracuse. 01. like Athens ; and an Attic comedy was 
4**T 2 * ^ BC * t nere f° re out of the question here. But the 
Megarean comedy possessed this advantage, 
that it was at the same time popular and courtly ; for 
with regard to its subjects it developed itself particularly 
in two directions, equally devoid of danger to the dynasts. 
On the one hand it exhibited popular life in vigorously 
drawn characters, so that the different classes of the 
population (the peasant, sailor, prophet, parasite, &c.) 
appeared on the stage, the ridiculous points in each being 
most strongly brought forward ; on the other hand, even 
the gods of Olympus had to descend upon the boards, and 
the tales of the Gods and Heroes were enacted in merry 
burlesques. But both these forms, that of the comedy of 
character and that of mythological travesty, were again 
blended together; Zeus, according to the figure which he 
was here made to assume at the wedding-feast of the 
Olympians, was in reality nothing else but the type of the 
Sicilian gastronomes. But a man like Epicharmus, an 
inquirer and a thinker, desired something beyond offering 
a merry diversion for the multitude. At the root of his 
works lay a serious meaning ; and the sterling nobility of 
his sayings, the teachings of a genuine philosophy of life, 
expressed in a brief and apt proverbial form, enables us 
to form a conception of the philosophic meaning, of which 
the silver vein pervaded the ruder mass of the comedy. 
His vigor of gnomic expression vividly recalls that of his 

chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 249 

contemporary Theognis (vol. i. p. 306), the great poet of 
Megara in Hellas, who is himself said to have made a 
journey to Sicily. Both these poets are splendid instances 
of the genius of the Megareans, who in the mother- 
country and in the colony equally failed to attain to a 
successful political development, but at the same time 
reached an admirable degree of intellectual culture. 
Their close contact with non-Doric population very pos- 
sibly contributed to call into play their intellectual 

Epicharmus remained at the court of Hiero, to whose 
famous achievements (the preservation of the Locrians in 
particular) the poet contrived to allude in his plays ; and 
on the part of the Tyrants every possible measure was 
taken to satisfy the curiosity and love of spectacle distin- 
guishing the public of the great city, and the fondness for 
dramatic entertainments innate in the Siceliotes. A hand- 
some theatre was built at Syracuse by Democopus, pro- 
bably as early as the time of the first two Tyrants ; and 
we may assume that the entire management of the stage 
was here in many respects reduced to a system at an 
earlier date than in Athens. Phormis, Dinolochus, and 
others, were rivals in the same branch of art ; and consi- 
dering the flourishing state to which it in consequence 
attained, we need not wonder at its having found imitators 
even beyond the limits of the island. Thus in Athens 
especially this Sicilian invention was duty appreciated, 
and Crates (vol. ii. p. 591) is there said to have first set 
the example of making whole classes of men, instead of 
individual characters of public life, the subject of comic 
representation. By the side of the comedy of character, 
mythological travesty also became popular at Athens, as 
can be demonstrated in the case of writers as early as 
Cratinus and his contemporaries.* 

* Phormis : Arist. Poet., v. 5. Epicharmus : Suidas : cf. Lorentz, Lebe* 


250 History of Greece. [Book IV S 

Similar to Epicharmus in the bent of his 

Sophron. . , . 

genius was his younger contemporary, the 
Syracusan Sophron, whose writings were neither in verse 
nor, as it appears, destined for the stage, but who was not- 
withstanding a dramatic poet of the first class ; for he con- 
trived in his Mimes (which, when skilfully recited, pro- 
duced the same effects as dramatic scenes,) to create pic- 
tures of Sicilian society characterized by the freshness of 
real life, and expressed in pithy and popular language, 
intermixed with proverbs. At the same time he not only 
displayed the keenest power of observation in the delinea- 
tion of male and female characters, but also the highest 
skill of artistic reproduction, and by the originality of 
genius pervading his works exercised a very important 
influence upon the poets and philosophers of both Greeks 
and Romans. 

While Epicharmus cultivated a branch 
The court of f poetry which flourished in Sicily, and 

Hiero and its , , , . , . J _ 

guests. developed it to such a degree as to make it 

acceptable at Athens also, other artists 
brought over the arts which had matured in the mother- 
country : and thus an exceedingly fertile interchange arose 
between the two shores of the sea. The Greek artists, 
particularly the singers, had always been fond of travel- 
ing ; and the attraction which drew such men as Pindar, 
.^Eschylus, Simonides, and Bacchylides to Sicily, lay not 
only in the prospect of honors and advantages of an 
uncommon kind awaiting them at the courts of Acragas 
and Syracuse, but also in the reputation of manifold 
intellectual culture belonging to the island, in the splen- 
dors of a dynastic career of rare success, in the charm of 
a deep repose after glorious deeds, such as had not blessed 

u. Schriften d. Koers Epicharmv. For the date of the construction of the 
theatre, cf. Lorenz, Epickarmos, p. 91 ; Schubring in Philol. xxii. p. 620. 
As to the relations between Crates and Epicharmus; Lorenz, pp. 191, 
208 ; Ar. Pomih by Susemihl, p. 168. 

Chap, hi.] Italy and Sicily. 251 

the mother-country ; and lastly in the abundance of mar- 
vels, of which all had to tell who had visited and admired 
the numerous cities of the island. Among these marvels 
none engaged the imagination of the Greeks to such a 
degree as Mount iEtua, which, precisely at the period of 
the accession of Hiero, had, after a long pause, once more 
begun to illuminate the Western sea of the Greeks with 
towering columns of flame. Both Pindar and iEschylus 
attest the impression which this phenomenon of nature 
created in the contemporary world.* 

This attraction towards Sicily, felt by the Greeks of the 
mother-country, was eagerly taken advantage of by Hiero, 
who personally possessed a vivid interest in science and 
art, and who himself composed poetry. He had already 
/surrounded himself with all the eminent natives in Sicily. 
Corax, the founder of Sicilian oratory, the first Greek who 
applied the principles of science to the art of speech, 
stood high in the consideration of Hiero ; philosophy and 
natural science, mathematics and medicine, simultaneously 
flourished in the highest degree, art and science pervading 
one another in a remarkable manner (e. g., Epicharmus 
wrote treatises on medical science, even in its veterinary 
branch) ; — in short, there manifestly existed in the intel- 
lectual life of the Siceliotes a universal tendency, a phil- 
osophic habit of mind, which pursued, and meditated 
upon, all kinds of subjects, and attempted to comprehend 
all things human in their mutual connection. And these 
native tendencies were strengthened by the influence of 
the presence of the great foreign artists ; so that around 
the hospitable hearth of Hiero was assembled a body of 
sages and poets, a chosen circle, unequalled in any other 
part of Greece. Nor were these men merely instruments 

* Sophron : Suidas. The eruption of iEtna took place in 01. lxxv. (b.c. 
479), according to the Parian chronicles (vide Boeckh in Corp. Inscr. ii. 
p. 339); according to Thuc. lxxvi. 1, in b. c. 475. Thucydides was una- 
ble to obtain any precise information as to any earlier eruption. 

252 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

of the vanity of Hiero, as adorning his court of the 
Muses, and adding to his royal throne its brightest glory ; 
but the influence exercised, by the foreign artists especially, 
was also a beneficent one: e.g., in the case of Simonides, 
when he acted as peacemaker between Hiero and Thero 
(p. 236). As independent men, the artists were qualified 
for assuming a position of greater freedom towards their 
host ; and, lastly, they offered the surest pledge for the 
fame of the Sicilian princes. For this reason Hiero soon 
_ , after his accession summoned iEschylus to 

iEschylus. , . * 

nis court, where the poet spent many happy 
years, extremely productive for his Muse; he glorified 
Hiero's favorite work in his Women of jEtna, a grand fes- 
tive poem in honor of the new city (01. lxxvi. 1 ; B.C. 
476) ; he connected the history of Sicily with that of the 
mother-country ; and what could have more gratified 
Hiero's love of fame, than to see the military glories of 
his house celebrated in company with Salamis and Platseae 
in a trilogy (vol. ii. p. 581), as national achievements con- 
nected with, and equal in kind and degree to, these vic- 
tories ? The production of the Persce in the theatre at 
Syracuse marked a brilliant epoch in the history of that 
city : nor can it well be doubted that the entire work 
originated in impulses received in Sicily, and upon Sicilian 
soil. iEschylus grew so habituated to Sicilian life, that in 
the language of his later dramas the influence of his resi- 
dence in Sicily was thought to be discernible ; and his love 
for the fair island led the poet once more back to its 
shores, when he was already growing weary of his life.* 

* iEschylus was twice in Sicily; on the former occasion at the invita- 
tion of Hiero, about 478 to 474 b. c. The Atrvaiat were acted 476 ; the 
Prometheus (?) ; then the Persee for the first time. He returned before 472. 
The Persse was acted in Athens in 472, the Orestea in 458. His second 
journey took place after the fall of the Areopagus (cf. vol. ii. pp. 426, 
583). He died at Gela in 455. Cf. Kiehl in Mnemosyne, i. p. 364; 
Lorenz, p. 83. 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 253 

Still more intimate is the connection 

nn». o' »t i ' Pindar. 

between Pindar and the bicilian dynasties. 
He too ioves the island, which his song declares Zeus to 
have bestowed upon Persephone as a gift of honor ; he 
enthusiastically praises the cornfields, and beseeches the 
gods to let " the glorious land, heavy with corn, shine in 
radiant splendor, exulting in the crests of wealthy cities, 
inhabited by a nation ever mindful of the clash of arms 
in war, riding proudly to battle, and often crowned with 
the leaves of the Olympic olive-branch." For him, who 
loyally venerates the ordinances issuing from Delphi and 
honors the fame of the ancient houses, it is a genuine 
triumph to see the Doric system of state attaining to new 
splendor in the distant isle, and new branches sprouting 
out here into so vigorous a life from trunks of primitive 
and illustrious fame in the Hellenic nation. For this 
reason he is particularly devoted to the Emmenidse, 
who, like the poet himself, belong to the house of Cadmus, 
and who so gloriously make good his faith in the heredi- 
tary virtues of great houses. He therefore praises with 
cordial warmth the virtues of Thero, his hospitality, his 
kindliness, and his delight in aiding others ; and, when 
hostile feelings came to prevail between the two Tyranni- 
cal dynasties, Pindar stood on the side of the Emmenidse, 
while Simonides and Bacchylides rather adhered to that 
of Hiero. But in Syracuse also Pindar's repute stood 
high ; he knew how to acknowledge and celebrate the 
merits of Hiero, and emulated jEschylus in spreading the 
fame of the founder of iEtna throughout the whole Greek 
world ; yet, though his songs of praise became solemn 
exhortations, he endeavors to calm the passionate tempera- 
ment of the prince, and to incline him to content and 
peaceable serenity. He makes good his saying that " the 
man who speaks the truth is the best in every form of 
state, even at the Tyrant's court," and, with a reference to 
the unworthy system of spies introduced by Hiero to keep 

254 History of Gh*eece. [Boo* iv. 

him informed of all the movements in progress in the 
capital, Pindar is not afraid to inveigh, with the bitterest 
scorn, against the creatures of the court and the fawning 
sycophants who make the king untrue to his better 

Thus Syracuse in the age of its Tyrants 
Sicilian archi- was a centre of the most varied intellectual 

to^tur© iiu dor 

the Tyrants. life, a chosen abode of Hellenic power and 
culture. In conformity with this character 
the city had itself entirely changed its aspect. It had 
long ago passed from the island Ortygia to the mainland, 
extending, not (as would seem to have been the most na- 
tural course) from the isthmus in a westerly direction 
round the bay of the great harbor, but in a northerly di- 
rection, upon the limestone plateau of Achradina. The 
citizens had moved further and further away from the 
harbor, and preferred the less convenient site, because here 
alone were to be found a dry soil and wholesome air. 
Gelo had caused the nearest part of the table-land to be 
surrounded with walls; and thus were formed the city- 
quarters of Achradina, (by itself already between four and 
five times as large as the city on the island,) and, imme- 
diately to the west of it, of Tyche. This was the triple 
city of Gelo, with its walls and stone-quarries, which also 
served as fortifications ; its harbors and docks; its palaces, 
sanctuaries, and public edifices — the grandest of all Hel- 
lenic cities. The castle of the Tyrants, together with the 
most ancient sanctuaries (p. 217) lay on the island. There, 
also, not far from the Isthmus, was the temple of Apollo, 
whose eastern steps bear a dedicatory inscription belonging 
to the same period with that upon the helmet dedicated 
by Hiero (p. 239). Opposite the walls of Achradina, 
Gelo, after the victory of Himera, erected a gorgeous tem- 
ple to the Great Goddesses, who had made his house great 
and honored (p. 213). On the further bank of the Ana- 
pus, which flows into the innermost part of the great hap 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 255 

bor, a suburb had grown up, which had for its centre the 
temple of the Olympian Zeus. Sacred architecture had 
come to Sicily from Corinth, the ancient school of temple-ar- 
chitecture; and in this instance again the colonies were 
desirous of surpassing all contemporary efforts of the mo- 
ther-country in grandeur and splendor. 

The victory of Himera marked an epoch in the history 
of Sicilian as the victories over the Persians did in Athe- 
nian architecture. Not only were the temples filled with 
dedicatory gifts and precious objects, (as, e. g., the 
suburban temple of Zeus, near Syracuse, the statue of 
which Gelo adorned with a mantle of solid gold from the 
Carthaginian booty,) but the multitude of slaves obtained 
was also employed for building new edifices, far exceeding 
all their predecessors in size. Marble was scarce in the 
country itself ; but the mountains of the island offered 
numerous and abundant stone-quarries ; and to the lime- 
stone found in these it was contrived to give by rough- 
casting an effulgence similar to that of marble. In 
remembrance of the victory a temple was built at Himera 
itself, the remains of which have only recently again come 
to light. But the mightiest of all the creations of Sicilian 
architecture was the Olympieum at Acragas, situate on 
the road along the port. Here, as at Syracuse, the 
worship of Zeus, the giver of victory, was established after 
the model of the religious worship of Peloponnesus ; but 
the body of the temple itself was such as to be inferior in 
size to none but the Artemisium at Ephesus. Its height 
doubled that of the Parthenon. The edifice was exter- 
nally embellished most richly with works of sculpture ; in 
the interior, above the lower row of columns, stood colossal 
figures of Gigantes,* whose lower arms, and heads bent 

* As to the temple of Apollo and the inscription on its steps, see 
Philologus, xxiii. 361, xxvi. 567. Cavallari's discovery at Himera, 
GiornaU di Sicilia, 1864, June 13. Olympieum, Siefert, Akragas, 
p. 31. 

256 History of Greece, [ BooK TO 

forward, supported the tablature of the cella, in which 
w T as placed the image of the Olympian Zeus, the conqueroi 
of the Gigantes. 

These edifices, indeed, lacked the simpli- 

Aqueducts. . , . . , , _ . 

city and genuine grandeur which distin- 
guished sacred architecture, especially at Athens. There 
are undeniable traces of the influence of foreign elements 
and of a tendency, hurtful to art, towards external effect. 
On the other hand, the development of civil and 
domestic architecture, which the princes of Sicily had 
specially at heart, was thoroughly peculiar of its kind, 
and challeDges admiration. The island is full of struc- 
tures dating from this age, which bear witness to the mar- 
vellous height to which technical science had been carried. 
Among these must be mentioned, above all, the aqueducts 
of Syracuse, through which the mountain-springs flow 
through all parts of the rocky city and under the sea to 
Ortygia, where they rise to the surface again as the spring 
of Arethusa ; while on the other side an arm of the river 
Anapus is conducted to the city in an artificial bed. By 
means of numerous well-shafts the subterraneous aque- 
ducts were everywhere rendered accessible for use, as in 
the case of those in Attica (vol. i. p. 387) ; and in either 
place part of the aqueducts have continued to perform 
their service up to the present day. Still more famous 
were the aqueducts of Acragas, the conduits there called 
Phceaces (these, as well as part of the conduits at Syra- 
cuse, had been dug by Carthaginian prisoners of war) ; 
and the fish-ponds, designed to supply the luxurious 
demands of the banquets of the citizens, and covered with 
swans and water-fowl, formed a delightful ornament to the 
city. Finally, the architecture of private houses, particu- 
larly at Acragas, was in a style of greater splendor than 
in the rest of Greece ; the dwellings of the rich were 
palaces, built and furnished in a style far surpassing the 
exigencies of family life. The citizens took pride in 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 257 

being able to receive in their private houses as many 
guests as possible.* 

The policy of the Tyrants made them 
generally desirous to see the populous Sicilian nu« 

o _ J t ... mismatic art. 

cities where they resided distinguish them- 
selves by cleanliness and good order. Accordingly 
they also endeavored to admit none but noble and 
well-to-do families into the cities (p. 221), and to 
prevent as much as possible an accumulation of a 
poor town-population. They further very effectively 
provided for the fame of their cities abroad, by causing 
particular attention to be devoted to the mintage of their 
coins : and in no other department has Sicilian art more 
brilliantly distinguished itself. For while in the mother- 
country coins continued to be regarded exclusively as 
money, the state confining its attention to a maintenance 
of the due standard of weight (vol. 1, p. 360), in Sicily the 
beauty of the coinage was first regarded as an object of 
public interest. The die-engravers were artists ; and it 
was therefore principally here that the custom arose of 
allowing them to introduce their names upon the coins in 
miniature characters. And, as it happens, coins have 
been actually preserved of all the more important cities 
of the island, which by means of a skillful arrangement 
of the symbols, of consummate technical craft, and of 
intellectual expression in the heads, may lay claim to be 
considered as real works of art. They are not only 
monuments of the native forms of religious worship, but 
also historical monuments which perpetuate epochs of the 
histories of the several cities. Thus, the coins of Messene 
proclaim the chariot- victories of Anaxilaus ; on those of 
Selinus the river Hypass is seen offering sacrifice at the 
altar of Asclepius. This sacrifice is a thank-offering for 

* On aqueducts at Syracuse, see Julius Schubring in Pkilologus, xxii* 
pp. 577-638. 

258 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

the draining of the low country (which had been effected 
by the advice of Einpedocles). A marsh-bird taking his 
unwilling departure furnishes a witty and pregnant indi- 
cation of the salutary change in the condition of the terri- 
tory of the city. But the most beautiful of all the works of 
art of this species are the large silver coins (ten-drachm 
pieces) of Syracuse, of which the reverse represents a victo- 
rious yoke of horses, showing that these pieces probably 
served as a prize of victory ; while the obverse bears the 
charming head of a goddess, surrounded by dolphins, repre- 
senting the deity of the fountain of Arethusa which, abound- 
ing in fishes, sacred to the goddess, welled up in Ortygia. 
This species of coins also includes that which, in memory 
of the daughter of Thero, went by the name of Demare- 
tium. Dem arete united in her person the two royal 
houses, upon whose fraternal alliance was based the most 
glorious period of Sicilian history ; and after the conclu- 
sion of peace she is said to have received from Carthage 
the gift of a golden wreath, and to have caused a quantity 
of coin of corresponding value to be struck for the public 
benefit. Her memory further connects itself with the 
dedicatory gift, in Delphi, the tripod of 'Demaretian 
gold ;' and the same Simonides who consecrated the monu- 
ments of victory in the mother-country by his epigrams, 
also wrote the inscription for that of the Dinonienidse, 
and testifies in it in their behalf that they, by conquering 
the Barbarians, had extended to the Hellenes the helpful 
hand of brethren in the establishment of freedom.* 

These are the works and monuments of the years of 
peace which ensued upon the glorious victory, and which, 
in their significance for Sicily, corresponded to the period 

* Pollux, ix. 85. According to Diodorus, xi. 26, it was out of the 
golden wreath presented to Demarete by the Carthaginians. Simonides 
also (n. 142 in Bergk's Poetse Lyr.) speaks of Xpuo-bs Aa^apertos (AapeVios 
ace. to Meineke, CEdip. Col. p. 316). For this reason Boeckh (Metrol. 
Unter8. 305) assumes the Demaretium to have been a gold coin = half & 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 259 

of peace enjoyed by the mother-country, and by Athens 
in particular, after the Persian wars. Those who won 
and enjoyed the former victories were not, indeed, free 
communities ; but nowhere were the fame and success of 
the dynasts so closely connected with civic prosperity as 
in Sicily ; nowhere did the despots succeed so well in using 
their power with moderation, and in maintaining for a 
time simultaneously two things naturally irreconcilable: 
tyrannical rule and legal order. 

But however highly the Sicilian Tyrants are distin- 
guished above all their predecessors, yet their rule met 
with the fate of the rest : it failed to attain to permanency, 
and for this reason : that the royal rule which Gelo and 
Thero had held, degenerated into despotism and party- 
government, and that the younger genera- 
tion which had grown up in prosperity and tb^TySSSis at 
luxury lacked the virtues by which its pre- Syracuse. 01. 
decessors had established the power of the c * 466!) 1 ' 
dynasty. Thus the success of the Emmeni- 
dse broke down already with the son of the great Thero ; 
and Gelo's son experienced the saddest fate which can be- 
fall the heir to a throne. He was placed — probably after 
the death of his stepfather — in the hands of his uncle 
Thrasybulus, the youngest of the four sons of Dinomenes. 
Thrasybulus, urged on by criminal ambition, designed to 
plunge his nephew into a life of debauchery, which proved 
his physical and moral ruin. In this endeavor Thrasybu- 
lus was aided by a party which wished to see him at the 
helm of the state. But at the same time a republican 
party formed itself, which encouraged domestic discord in 

gold stater. See contra Due de Luynes (Rev. Numism. 1843). Leake 
[Transact, p. 357) and Mommsen (G. d. R. Mitnzw. p. 70), who reckon 
the Demaretium among the various silver decadrachms. See also Hultsch 
de Demaretio, Dresd. 1862. Boseckh repeated his previous opinion, Verh. 
d. Hall, Philologenvers. 1868, p. 36. Contra Hultsch, ib. p. 40. Coins of 
Selinus : Arch. Zeitung, 1860, p. 38. 

260 History of Greece. [ BooK lV - 

the Tyrannical dynasty, in order thus more easily to re- 
move the latter ; and so it came to pass that, though Thra- 
sybulus accomplished his design and became ruler after 
the death of Hiero, not even the application of extreme 
measures of force enabled him to maintain himself on the 
throne for the space of even a single year. A conflict 
openly broke out at Syracuse between citizens and merce- 
naries, between Tyrannis and Republic, — a struggle in 
which the other cities of the island, Acragas, Gela, Seli- 
nus, &c, took part; and in the end Thrasybulus might 
deem himself fortunate in being allowed to depart unhurt 
and seek a refuge at Locri in Italy.* 

Such was the end of the eighteen years 
Political of the Tyrannical rule of the Dinomenidoa 
racuse. a t Syracuse. The example of Acragas was 

followed by Gela and Syracuse, in both of 
which the republic was restored, and, in order to mark 
the beginning of a new and happy era, the Syracusans 
instituted in honor of Zeus the " Liberator " the festival 
of the Eleutheria; they engraved on their coins the 
laurel-crowned head of Zeus Eleutherios, and on the 
reverse an unbridled horse, in the act of taking a spring, 
as a symbol of their newly-won freedom.")" This change 
was, however, accompanied by arduous conflicts and pro- 
tracted sufferings. For the rule of the Tyrants had too 
violently affected the inner life of the cities, and strange 
elements had been too largely introduced into the com- 
munities, to allow public life to resume a peaceable devel- 
opment. It was indeed attempted at Syracuse to unite 
the old and new citizens into a corporation ; but the latter, 
by their exclusion from all offices of honor, were wounded 
at their most sensitive point, and a division was thus 
created which led to a sanguinary conflict in the city. 

* One year's reign of Thrasybulus : Diod. xi. 66. Close of tyrannical 
government : Arist. Polit. pp. 220, 230. 

•J- Coins of Zeus Eleutherios ; Leake, Numism. Hell. i. 79. 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 261 

The several quarters of the city were used as fortresses 
from which the parties made war upon one another: 
7,000 mercenaries and newly enfranchised citizens still 
remained over of those admitted into the city by Gelo ; 
and these made themselves masters of the two inner dis- 
tricts of the city, Ortygia, and Achradina, so that the old 
citizens were driven into the suburbs, where they 
entrenched themselves on the western part of the wide 
city-hill, in Epipolse, thereby cutting off all supplies by 
land from the city. And thus they at last succeeded in 
forcing their opponents to quit the ground. 

The consequences of the overthrow of 
the Tyrants, however, extended far beyond 
Syracuse. For the Siculi, who had been 
hard pressed by the dominion of the Dinomenidse, now 
also ventured upon rising; and, under their bold leader 
Ducetius, attempted to bring about a closer combination 
amoug themselves, and thus to place themselves on a 
footing of equality with the Hellenes. The Syracusans 
now even allied themselves with the Siculi, on account of 
their common hatred against the Tyrants and all things 
connected with them ; and the combined forces undertook 
an expedition against the Tyrants' city of iEtna, which 
was an object of equal hatred to both. Hiero's citizens 
bravely resisted the attack, but were at last forced to 
yield ; and thus, after a brief existence, the proud royal 
city, which Hiero had founded amidst splendid solemnities 
as if for eternity, came to an end. The monument erected 
in honor of its founder was destroyed ; the original popu- 
lation of Catanseans returned, the Siculi received back 
their land, and the JEtnseans removed to Inessa at the 
base of Mount iEtna.* 

Tyrannical government maintained itself longest in the 
two cities on the Sicilian sound, which Anaxilaus had 
united into a single principality. Its government had 

* Diod. xi. 76. 

262 History of Greece. C b °ok IV. 

since 01. Ixxvi. 1 (b. c. 476) been adminis* 
Final oy ^- tered by Micythus, a man originally be« 
Tyranni8 at longing to the slave-class, whom the conn- 
Zanf/e" 01 an dence of Anaxilaus had subsequently raised 
to the position of guardian of his children 
and regent of Rhegium and Zancle. In this capacity he 
governed with prudence and moderation, but at the same 
time with resolution and vigor. He aided the Tarentines 
when their city was in danger, and even sent out colonies 
to the west coast of Italy. Thus it came to pass that Hi- 
ero himself became jealous of Micythus, and accordingly 
induced the tyrant's sons to put an end to the regency. 
Micythus resigned the government in 01. lxxviii. 2. (b.c. 
467) after furnishing an account of his administration, in 
which it was impossible to discover a single blemish.* 
The sons of Anaxilaus maintained themselves in power for 
about six years more, and were then expelled like the 

And now, at last, an identical order of 
General vie- things had been brought about in the whole 
racy. of Greek Sicily. The civic communities 

had been purified by the removal of all 
those who owed their enfranchisement to the times of the Ty- 
rants; the exiles had returned; the domains of the Tyran< 
nical families had been made public property, and the free 
constitutions everywhere reinstated. After the times of 
despotism had thus passed away, all the communities were 
pervaded by the same fresh and youthful vigor which ani- 
mated Athens after the fall of the Pisistratidse. 

There was, indeed, no want of ambitious 
racuse. 7 P ar ty leaders who took advantage of the 

confusion ensuing upon the expulsion of the 
Tyrants, and endeavored to restore monarchical rule. 
This was in particular the case at Syracuse, where a cer- 
tain Tyndareon distributed money among the poor, and 

* Herod, vii. 170 ; Diod. xi. 48; Paus. v. 26. 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 265 

had already surrounded himself with a band of followers, 
who were prepared to help him in his attempt to seize upon 
absolute power. But, before he was strong enough to 
spurn the interference of the legal tribunals, he had to 
submit to a judicial inquiry, which resulted in his execu- 
tion. In order to prevent similar attempts 

, ,. .. Institution of 

an institution was established resembling petaiism. 
the Attic ostracism, which, it will be re- 
membered, owed its origin to similar events. In Syracuse, 
it was termed the judgment of leaves (petaiism) because 
the name of the individual who appeared dangerous to the 
constitution was here scratched upon olive-leaves instead 
of upon potsherds. This signalized the consummation of 
the victory of the democratic movement which pervaded 
the whole island, and which, on the one hand, appears as 
to particular political institutions to have followed the ex- 
ample of Athens ; while, on the other, it doubtless exer- 
cised a reaction upon Athens and upon the party struggles 
in progress there, where it supported the successes of the 
party of reform.* 

For the different cities of Sicily, and par- 
ticularly for Syracuse, the complete victory Consequences 

„ i i t n of the overthrow 

oi the democracy marked a literary as well f the Tyrants, 
as a political epoch. The multitude of pri- 
vate suits occasioned by the revolution in the relations of 
property, offered an opportunity for the exercise of foren- 
sic eloquence ; and the popular assemblies, in which the 
decrees of state were now passed, became a 
school of political oratory. The Siceliotes tors. 
possessed a natural gift for the artistic use 
of speech, — a gift the cultivation of which i3 attested by 
the comedies of Epicharmus. At this epoch 
Corax (p. 251) brilliantly distinguished his school) an 
himself as a forensic advocate; and, aided 

* As to the temporary introduction of petaiism into Syracuse, see Diod, 
xi. 86, $7. 

264 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

by his varied experience, composed a theoretic system of 
oratory, in which he gave instructions as to the treatment 
of different kinds of legal cases. One of his scholars was 
Tisias, who again was followed by Gorgias; so that a new 
branch of Hellenic oratory rapidly and vigorously devel- 
oped itself, which was entirely peculiar to Sicily. Under 
circumstances similar to those prevailing at Syracuse, the 
art of oratory was equally cultivated at Acragas, where 
Empedocles the philosopher also exercised influence as a 
popular speaker, so that he could be regarded by Aristotle 
as the founder of Rhetoric, and successfully opposed party- 
movements which had for their ultimate object the resto- 
ration of monarchical government. Geographical and his- 
torical studies also flourished in consequence of this uni- 
versal intellectual activity. Inquiring minds collected the 
abundant existing materials of native histo- 

and historians. l7 „ ,, ., 

ry: e. g.,m the years following upon the ex- 
pulsion of the Tyrants, the Syracusan Antiochus, the son 
of Xenophanes, composed a comprehensive 

(Antiochus.) . .. . . „ T . , n . ., , 

work on the cities of Italy and bicily, the 
loss of which forms one of the most unfortunate gaps in 
the information left to us concerning Greek antiquity.* 

With regard to the common constitution 
Consequences f the island, all the cities, the Doric as well 

for the island in »■«••• A r. j* • j • 

general. as the Ionic, m the nrst instance acted in 

unison, and sent deputies to common diets, 
in order to combine for the purpose of a harmonious and 
national policy. With the Siculi, too, the Hellenic cities 
were upon good terms, and displayed such generosity even 
towards the now homeless mercenaries, as to hand over 
to them a spot in the territory of Zancle, where they 
founded a settlement of their own. This happy period of 

* Concerning Corax and Tisias, Aristotle ap. Cic. Brutus, % 46; cf. 
Blass, Att. Beredtsamk. ip.l8L— Empedocles, ace. to Aristotle, the inven- 
tor of Rhetoric. Diog. Laert. viii. 54. Antiochus wepi Ira Ai«s and 
2i«Aiwtis avyypa^-q. Fragm. Hist. Gr. i. 181. 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 265 

national progress, concord and enthusiasm, was not, how- 
ever, of long duration ; the evils of the degenerate Tyran- 
nis had been successfully removed; but this involved the 
frustration of the great objects pursued by the Tyrants of 
Acragas and Syracuse: the reconciliation of differences of 
race, the blending of all the Sicilian Greeks into one na- 
tion, and the combination of their resources into an impe- 
rial power capable of withstanding all foreign enemies and 
of preventing all foreign intervention. The island again 
divided itself into a number of particular states, whose 
military strength fell away ; popular government was ac- 
companied by extreme disorder, the communities not 
having gradually accustomed themselves to liberty and its 
use ; all the evils of democracy — party-spirit, want of dis- 
cipline, and invidious attacks upon the rich — rapidly su- 
pervened, and consumed the strength of the communities, 
whose conduct was not directed to any higher aims. The 
jealousy between Dorians and Ionians broke out afresh ; 
the Siculi put forward claims of increasing audacity, and, 
since the rule of the Tyrants had occasioned a violent in- 
terruption of the general state of law, it was now doubly 
difficult to attain to fixed and unchanging constitutional 

In Italy, even less than in Sicily, can 
there be any question as to a common histo- The^ Hellenes 
ry of the Greek cities ? For here neither 
the Amphictyonic sanctuaries (vol. i. p. 473), nor the pre- 
dominance of the power of particular states, produced a 
lasting combination. In Italy, the forces of Greek na- 
tionality were upon the whole far less concentrated, and 
the contrast was far more marked, between the cities of 
Achaean, Doric and Ionic origin, which had grown up in 
a dense succession. During the first two centuries after 

* As to the mercenaries in the territory of Zancle, see Diod. xi. 76 j 
Siefert, Rankle- Meesana, p. 22. 


266 History of Greece. [ b <>°k IV. 

their foundation these cities flourished at the height of 
prosperity upon the prodigally luxuriant soil of Magna 
Grsecia. The history of this development, composed by 
Antiochus (p. 264), is lost to us, so that as our chief source 
of information we have nothing left beyond the coins, 
which testify to the high prosperity of the cities, to the 
forms of religious worship prevalent in them, and to their 
mutual connection. The thinly-beat silver-pieces, bearing 
inscriptions of the Achaean towns, which are coined with 
sunken dies on the one and reliefs on the other side, in 
contrast to the thick metal pieces of the mother-country, 
prove how cleverly the Italian Greeks at an early period, 
i. e. t in the seventh century B.C., contrived to spoil the for- 
gers' trade. The political knowledge of the Italian com- 
miiDities is attested by their legislations (vol ii., p. 106 f), 
and their power by the colonies on the west coast : the cit- 
izens of Sybaris, Croton and Locri held sway on the coasts 
of either sea of the peninsula (vol. i. p. 471). But as soon 
as the cities issue forth out of the dark centuries of dark- 
ness in which they gradually developed their strength, we 
find them immediately inflamed against one another by a 
violent jealousy, which made Magna Graecia the scene of 
the most sanguinary conflicts between Hellenic neighbors. 
And, indeed, in no part of the Greek world do we meet 
with instances of so terrible a destruction, and with such 
sudden falls from the fulness of human prosperity into the 
depths of misery and utter desolation. 

At first the Achaean cities were the most 

History of the „ , M _ . -~ , ,, £ 

Italian cities. powerful — bybans, Croton and Metaponti- 
um. They endeavored, by their united ef- 
forts, to overpower the settlements of the other tribes ; and, 
as a result of this combination, the old-Ionian Siris be- 
tween Metapontium and Sybaris was laid level with the 
ground (01. 1. circ; B.C. 580). Subsequently, disputes 
arose among the Achaean cities ; Croton and Sybaris made 
war upon one another, and the latter was so utterly over- 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 267 

thrown, that the Crotoniates conducted the 

river Crathis over the site of the city, in a ? ro * on and 

J ' by bans. 

order to destroy every vestige of it. Thus, 
before the period of the Persian wars, the two cities, whose 
representatives we met with in the royal hall of Clisthenes 
(vol. L, p. 285) as those of the most foremost Greek cities 
of Lower Italy, had vanished from the face of the earth. 
But the fall of Sybaris proved ruinous to the victors as 
well as to the vanquished. There ensued an utter over- 
throw of order in the Achaean cities ; stormy popular 
risings put an end to the influence of the Pythagoreans, 
which had made Croton strong and great, and at the same 
time to the power of the aristocratic families (vol. ii. p. 
108). Sedition and bloodshed prevailed for a long time. 
From the most various parts of Greece arrived embassies 
with advice and aid ; and, as the Achseans were unable 
by their own exertions to return to a condition of order 
and law, they were in the end rescued from 
dissolution by the cities of their mother- Tarentum. 
country Achaia, whose political statutes were 
adopted by the colonies.* 

For the rest, the history of Magna Grsecia continued its 
progress apart from that of the mother-country ; and al- 
though the Italian cities had learned distinctly enough 
that they, too, were included among the objects of the Per- 
sian king's lust of conquest, yet only one Italian ship came 
to the aid of the Hellenes at Salamis — that of the Crotoni- 
ate Phayllus. The strength of his native city, which had 

* As to the influence of the destruction of Sybaris upon Croton, see 
Timgeus, Fragm. 63, Goller. According to Justin, xx. 3, and Strabo 262, 
the rout of the Crotoniates on the Sagras must have followed upon the 
fall of Sybaris. Niebuhr, Rom. Hint. vol. iii. p. 514, note [E. Tr.]. It 
is fixed at an earlier date by Millingen, Considerations sur la Numism. 
de Vane. ItaUe, p. 66, and Heyne, Opusc. ii. 184. Concerning the em- 
bassy to Achaia, see Th. Miiller. de Thuriorium rep. p. 24; and concern- 
ing the extension of the territory as far as the Tyrrhenian coasts, ib. p. 
3». Polyaen. ii. 10. 

268 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

so long offered an illustrious example to all the Hellenes^ 
of the home of Democedes (vol. ii. p 191) and of Milo, 
which had gained more wreaths at Olympia than any other 
Greek city, had been broken by civic discords and defeats. 
As their palaestrae became deserted, the military vigor and 
confidence in victory of the Crotoniates vanished. More- 
over, at the very time when the Carthaginians were ad- 
vancing in Sicily and the Persians in Hellas, a general 
movement of the Italian tribes took place towards the 
coasts inhabited by Greeks, particularly of the Iapygian 
or Messapian people (vol. i. p. 461), as well as of the Peu- 
cetians, who dwelt in a locality more remote. The Achae- 
an cities having fallen into decay, Tarentum was now the 
most flourishing city, and the chief seat of the trade of 
Lower Italy. Her luxurious wealth was the principal at- 
traction which tempted the barbarians ; and, notwithstand- 
ing the aid furnished by the Rhegines, she had to suffer a 
disastrous defeat, the heaviest blow inflicted upon a Hel- 
lenic people known to Herodotus, 01. lxxvi. 4 circ. (b. c. 
473). Thus, about the time when Hiero overcame the 
Tyrrhenians, the east coast of Italy, as far as the Sicilian 
sound, was in the hands of the barbarians: The power of 
the Tarentines was not, however, broken. The ancient 
families of the city were indeed annihilated in the struggle; 
but the movements which pervaded the entire Greek world 
since the end of the sixth century B. c, now also found 
vent at Tarentum. The lower classes of the population 
acquired a share in the administration, and the change of 
the aristocratic into a democratic constitution was accom- 
panied by a new rise of national vigor : so that the Taren- 
tines renewed the conflict with success, and about 01. 
lxxviii. and lxxx. were enabled to erect great monuments 
of victory at Delphi, the works of Ageladas and Onatas, 
which represented the brave fights on horse and foot 
against the barbarians.* 

* Cf. page 277; Brunn, Gesch. d. gr. Kiinstler, i. 90. 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 269 

After the rout of the barbarians, the dis- 

, i /-i i • • i • Renewal of 

putes between the Greek cities, here as in the conflict be- 
the mother-country, broke out afresh. tw( : e ^ s y baris 

J ' _ and Croton. 

Fifty-eight years after the destruction of 
their city, the Sybarites returned home from their colonies 
(vol. ii. p. 535) ; but they were driven out four years 
afterwards (01. lxxxiii. 2 ; B.C. 447) by the Crotoniates. 
The ancient struggle burst forth into fresh flames. The 
Sybarites applied first to Sparta, and then to Athens ; and 
their application for aid became the occasion for expedi- 
tions from Hellas, which, for the first time, exercised a 
lasting influence upon the history of Magna Grsecia.* 

Upon the whole, communication between 
the mother-country and the western pe- Ital Athens and 
ninsula had progressed slowly, even in the 
case of the Athenians ; and, even among the latter, a 
voyage to the Adriatic for a long time remained a pro- 
verbial expression for a bold venture. Not until they 
were brought into closer contact with Ionia, did they 
become more familiar with Italy. From an early age 
this country had been most intimately connected with the 
maritime cities of Ionia, thus in particular Sybaris with 
Miletus. The attractions of Italy became better and 
better known ; and, after the Athenians had become a 
naval state, their attention was in the first instance 
directed to the corn-fields of Siris. They believed them- 
selves possessed of a claim upon this old-Ionic region, 
whose beauty had been sung by the poet Archilochus ; 
oracles were current assigning this possession to them ; 
and when for a time they had to be prepared to renounce 
their own home, like the citizens of Phocaea, they were, as 
Themistocles actually declared to Eurybiades, resolved to 
emigrate to Siris (vol. ii. p. 322). The bold mind of 

*Iapygian struggles with Tarentum : Lorentz, Tarentinorum res geslee 
(1838), p. 9. — Constitutional crisis . Aristot. Polit. p. 198, 7. 

270 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

Theraistocles was to such a degree occupied with the 
distant western coasts, that he named two of his daughters 
after them — the one Italia, and the other Sybaris. His 
intentions were carried into execution forty years after- 
wards, when, under the administration of Pericles, Athens 
established colonies in the territory of the Sybarites (vol. 
ii. p. 536).* 

The foundation of Thurii was not, indeed, 

Foundation j ' j n 

of Thurii. designed as an enterprise of war, but as a 

work of peace, with a view to the settle- 
ment of the ancient discord prevailing among the different 
Greek races. For this purpose, the locality seemed parti- 
cularly favorable : because here from the first a more con- 
siderable intermixture had taken place ; so that even in 
the one Doric city, Tarentum, anything but a harsh 
Dorism prevailed. Thurii also adopted the political 
ordinances of the native cities, the laws of Oharondas ; 
while Athens, as the protecting power of the new settle- 
ment, manifestly observed great caution in her conduct, 
and avoided everything which might have betrayed 
ambitious aims. The creation of Pericles could not, how- 
ever, succeed without a conflict ; for the Tarentines saw 
in it an attempt to limit the predominant influence of 
their city, which was no longer opposed on equal terms by 
any power in Magna Grsecia, and to prevent its further 
extension, —the more so, as the new city rapidly rose to 
prosperity and established communications with the cities 
of Achaean origin. Thus Thurii was also obliged to take 
the place of Sybaris as the enemy of Tarentum ; and 
once more the border-feuds broke out concerning the fields 
of Siris, since the citizens of Thurii desired to carry into 
effect the claims of their mother-city. By a strange 
coincidence, their commander, in this conflict with the 

* Voyage to the Adrias: Boeckh, Seeurhunden, p. 137. — Themist. and 
Sybaris : Plut. Themiat. 32. 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 271 

Doric city was a Lacedaemonian, the same Cleandridas 
who had been banished from Sparta for accepting a bribe 
from Pericles (vol. ii. p. 451). In the end, a treaty of 
partition was concluded, in which the Tarentines were 
granted the right of founding a colony in their share of 
the Siritis, while the citizens of Thurii endeavored to 
restore the ancient dominion of Sybaris (vol. i. p. 470), 
and advanced their territory as far as the Tyrrhenian sea. 
The foundation of Thurii had brought considerable life 
into the relations between Athens and 
Magna Grsecia. Thurii constantly de- Ionian immi- 

j j x? i j.- j gration into 

manded an accession of population, and up Italy, 
to the middle of the Peloponnesian war 
many Athenians immigrated, partly for personal reasons, 
and especially well-to-do resident aliens, who at home 
suffered from the pernicious proceedings of the Syco- 
phants. Among the allies also, some emigrated who felt 
themselves oppressed by the rule of Athens, by the in- 
crease in the rate of tributes, and by other burdens. But, 
besides the discontent which impelled the Hellenes to 
cross the sea, a universal attraction was also exercised by 
the Hesperian regions, which was extremely strong and 
widely-spread in that age : by the manifold charms at- 
taching to the land of the west in the eyes of men desi- 
rous of travel, by the fame of the cities, in which life had 
attained to so high a degree of luxurious splendor, by 
the superior cheapness of life prevailing in the countries 
abounding in corn and herds, and finally also by the 
manifold and peculiar culture which had followed in the 
wake of the prosperity of the cities. Thus the festive 
amusements of the Tarentines (vol. i. p. 499) had devel- 
oped a species of entertaining poetry, which dealt in a 
dramatic fcrm with the figures of popular mythology, 
with gods and heroes, treating its subjects with fun and 
satire, and contriving at the same time to introduce divert- 
ing features taken from daily life. These were poetic 

272 History of Greece, [Book iv. 

works which owed their origin to a natural flow of wit, 
and accordingly always retained the fresh character of 
improvisations. Yet neither were they wholly devoid of 
a serious purpose, and serious truths were occasionally 
communicated to the public by laughing lips. For a 
philosophic tendency, as will be remembered, had taken 
root in Magna Grsecia more deeply than elsewhere, and 
had here gained a significance for public life which occu- 
pied thinking minds among the Greeks. Accordingly 
many sought out the home of Pythagorean wisdom, and 
particularly admired the men able to combine music and 
gymnastic culture, such as the famed Iccus of Tarentum, 
who, in the period after the Persian wars, obtained the 
victor's wreath at Olympia — the foremost master of the 
gymnastic art among the Hellenes, and at the same time 
a sage of acknowledged reputation. The Greek vessels 
became more and more habituated to the Western seas ; 
already Euctemon (vol. ii. p. 562), the associate of Meton, 
propounded correct views as to the pillars of Heracles ; 
and trade connected the western colonies more and more 
closely with Athens, after the equalization of the standard 
of coinage, and essentially facilitated intercourse.* 

In Italy, copper was universally adopted 
Trade and as the standard of value : the pound of 

coinage of the , . . 

Italian cities, copper, or libra (libra), divided into twelve 
ounces, was the unit of money and weight ; 
and the system of coinage thus regulated spread to Italy. 
The Greek merchants and colonists found this system in a 
stage of complete development ; they brought over with 
them their native species of money, which found admit- 
tance by the side of one another. But the most important 
impulses were received from Corinth and from Athens. 
Corinth had at an early period adopted the Babylonian 

* As to Thurii, f. Meier, Opusc, acad. i. p. 213. Iccus : Plat. Protag., 316, 
Euotemon ap. Avien. Ora Maritima, v. 350. 

c«ap. in.] Italy and Sicily. 273 

gold- weight current in Asia Minor ; she had at an earlier 
period than Athens transferred the standard of gold to 
silver, and her silver stater, together with its system, 
adopted in Asia Minor, of a division into third-sixth-, 
and twelfth-parts, was introduced among the Achseans in 
Italy, the Crotoniates, the Sybarites, and others. But the 
foreign and native standards could not continue perma- 
nently to co-exist without a medium ; and in the interests 
of trade the Corinthians gave up their ancient system of 
dividing the stater, which (a piece of two drachmas) they 
now settled at ten litres, and a tenth-part of which they 
coined as a silver piece (nomos, nummus), this being 
accordingly equivalent to a pound of copper. Thus the 
Corinthians, as the born mediators between the East and 
the West, first established a common standard among the 
three metals used as money in the ancient world, and 
blended the Italian system of litres with that of drachms ; 
and even at home in Corinth reckoned by litres. The 
Athenians, as well as the Corinthians, succeeded in intro- 
ducing their standard of coinage in the West^ particularly 
in Etruria, in Tarentum, and in Sicily. They also at the 
very period when their communication with Lower Italy 
became brisk, overcame their repugnance against copper 
money. Demetrius, celebrated in connection with its 
introduction, the so-called " copper-man," was one of the 
conductors of the colony of ThuriL* 

But while the West was in every respect brought into 
closer contact with the Athenians, it was natural that 
ulterior plans should be formed at Athens. ***.««! „ 

r Athenian 

The Athenians were no longer willing to plans of inter- 
rest satisfied with the policy of Pericles, 

"* As to the dislike of copper money entertained by the Athenians, see 
Buele, Monnaies d' Athines, p. 13. On Dionysius see Boeckh, P. E. vol. 
ii. p. 383 [E. Tr.] On the amalgamation of the litra- and drachm-sys- 
tems, see Mommsen, G. d. R. M. pp. 81, 83; the tetradrachmon as a prop 
of Athenian commerce, to. p. 328. The Corinthian standard was not, aa 


274 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

which desired to assert the authority of the city by peace- 
able, and by no other means in the Western sea, where 
Athens henceforth intended to appear not only as an influ- 
ential, but also as a ruling power. Plans of this kind 
were fostered by alliances with particular cities. Thus an 
ancient alliance was in force with Rhegiuru ; and when 
Corcyra was admitted into the Attic Confederation, the 
Athenians already included Sicily and Italy in the scope 
of their proceedings (p. 11). In their hatred against 
Corinth they found a continual motive for schemes of 
conquest in the territories of Corinthian colonization. In 
order, therefore, to carry these plans into execution, noth- 
ing was needed but a favorable opportunity, which might 
Vead to an intervention on the part of Athens in the in- 
vernal affairs of the colonies; and this opportunity was 
burnished by Sicily. 

„. . Sicily was unable to attain to a lasting 

The Sicuh. i ... m . . .. ° 

state oi tranquility, loo much combustible 
matter existed in the island, partly in the individual states, 
where attempts were made to establish new Tyrannical 
governments ; partly in the mutual relations between the 
cities ; and partly, in fine, in those between the Greek 
cities and the Siculi. For the latter had, for the first 

time, found a leader in Ducetius (p. 260), 
Ducetius. oi. w ho, not content with taking advantage, as 

1XXXV. 1. (B.C. . ... 

440.) a bold chieftain, of the impervious regions 

in the interior of the island, and thence 
executing a succession of attacks upon the different coast 
towns, endeavored himself to found cities after the fashion 
of the Hellenes. In the first instance he settled a civic 
community of Siculi, near Palici, a locality to the west 
of Leontini, distinguished by volcanic phenomena, and 

was formerly supposed (Boeckh, Metrol. Unters. p. 97), borrowed from 
Athens, but independently derived from the Babylonian gold talent ) cU 
J. Brandis, d. Maas-Gewicht u. Milnzw. in V. Asien, pp. 60, 159. 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 275 

held sacred by the inhabitants. He even succeeded in 
defeating the united troops of Acragas and Syracuse, and, 
after hereupon suffering a defeat at the hands of the Greeks, 
and being forced to quit Sicily for a time, he took advan- 
tage of an outbreak of discord between the two cities in 
order to found on the north side of the island a new city, 
called xaXrj dzryf, or " Fair Coast," as the strong and 
well-situated capital of an empire of the Siculi. But 
before he was able to secure an enduring existence to his 
creation, he died in his new capital, 01. lxxxv. 1 (b.c. 
440) ; and the Syracusans, who had meanwhile inflicted a 
humiliating defeat upon Acragas, were now able, without 
much difficulty, to suppress all efforts towards independ- 
ence on the part of the Siculi, and to subject all their 
posts in the vicinity of their territory. Syracuse was 
more powerful than ever before. She now 
revived the plans of a dominion embracing racu ° s ^ er ° y " 
the entire island ; the cavalry and navy, 
which had been neglected since the age of the Tyrants, 
were again increased ; the places of the Siculi were treated 
with severity, and the Chalcidian towns with overbearing 
insolence. The consequence was, that the 
ancient dislike of the races against one increase of 
another re-asserted itself, which had fallen Sicily. 
into the background for a time during their 
combined struggle against the Tyrants. This, moreover, 
happened at the period when the opposition between 
Dorians and Ionians was re-awakened and intensified in 
the whole Hellenic world by the outbreak of the Pelopon- 
nesian war. Sparta opened communications with the 
Doric cities of the island (p. 33) ; and, although the 
Sicilian cities displayed far less sympathy and interest 
than the Spartans had expected, and than the Corinthians 
had delusively promised to them, yet in Sicily, too, the 
adherents of the Attic and those of the Peloponnesian 
cause began to take up a position of more and more de- 

276 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

cided partisanship, particularly after the Athenians had 
attained to power in the Ionian Sea and had entered into 
closer communications with the members of their race on 
its farthest shores. Thus, e. g. y the ancient alliance with 
Rhegium was renewed, 01. lxxxvi. 4 (b.c. 433).* 

When accordingly the insolent pride of Syracuse most 
violently menaced the Chalcidians of Sicily, an open 
division of feeling ensued in the island, and two war parties 
were formed. On the one side stood the Ionic towns, 
Leontini, Catana, and Naxos, which were joined by Rhe- 
gium and also by the Doric Catana. The latter city had 
been restored after the expulsion of the Tyrants, and now 
saw its independence threatened by Syracuse. On the 
other side were the Dorian colonies and Locri, which had 
already at an earlier date attached itself to Sparta. The 
Leontinians, menaced by Syracuse both by land and by 
sea, ventured upon a decisive step, by sending in the fifth 
summer of the war (01. lxxxviii. 1 ; B.C. 427), an embassy 
to Athens, soliciting her support.f 

The leader of this embassy was Gorgias, 

Embassy of . . . , _. .,..-, 

Gorgias. 01. at that time already past his sixtieth year ; 

^^Z 1 ! 1 ' 1# ( B# but he was one of those Hellenes whose 
c. 427.) 

intellectual vigor and activity were sup- 
ported by extraordinary vital powers (vol. ii. p. 543). 
He was a man of an imposing personal bearing, full of 
assurance and self-confidence, resembling Empedocles, 
of whom he was also intellectually a follower. For 
he was distinguished by an extremely varied culture, 
being equally familiar with natural philosophy and with 
the dialectics of the Eleatic school. This philosophical 
culture he chiefly employed for practical purposes, seizing 
upon the minds of his hearers by means of surprising 
combinations of ideas, of unexpected conclusions and 

* Corp. Inscr. Gr. n. 74. Meier Op. acad. i. 331. 
t Uakueq: Diod. xi. 88, 90.— KaXrj 'Akti} : Diod. xii. 8, 29; cf. Ad. Holm. 
Btitr. z. Bericht. d. Karte d. a. Sieil. (1866) p. 26. 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 277 

demonstrations, and thus directing their resolutions. He 
belonged entirely to the Sophistic school ; but it was his 
wish to be, not a teacher of wisdom like Prodicus, or an 
encyclopaedist and polyhistor like Hippias, but solely a 
rhetor after the fashion of Corax and Tisias, (p. 246) to 
exercise influence as an orator, and to form others into 
orators. The more he concentrated his powers upon this 
object, the more complete was the mastery which he 
acquired in its realization ; and the Athenians were emi- 
nently adapted for recognizing its brilliant effect. The 
phenomenon was a perfectly novel one to them ; for the 
orations of Gorgias formed a decided contrast against the 
chaste form and solid meaning of the eloquence of 
Pericles ; they acted like a magic music upon the senses 
of the Athenians, amongst whom he spoke in private 
circles and in the theatre. Their influence was due to 
their irresistible grace, an abundance of metaphors, in- 
genious turns of ideas, a poetical coloring, wealth of 
ornament and loftiness of diction ; the ideas followed one 
another in rhythmical succession, so that the whole created 
the impression of a perfect work of art. 

It was accordingly of extreme importance that the 
Leontinians had placed so distinguished a personage at 
the head of their embassy. But even irrespectively of 
Gorgias' art of persuasion, their request was in itself 
undeniably important, and would not admit of being 
treated with indifference. If the feeble remnants of Ionic 
population in Sicily were overthrown, this amounted to a 
defeat of the Attic policy ; if Syracuse realized her am- 
bitious schemes, the Peloponnesians would acquire a 
powerful ally, who, even by the one fact of being able to 
furnish supplies of corn, might prove of the greatest 
assistance to the enemies of Athens. 

The Athenians took their measures with expedition to 
vigor, but at the same time with caution. Sicil y-... „ , 01 - 

Ixxxvm 2 (B c 

They despatched a fleet of twenty ships, under 427.) 

278 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

Laches and Charoeades, into the Sicilian waters, for the 
protection of Leontini ; but, at the same time, with orders 
to enter into negotiations with other states, and to recon- 
noitre the whole theatre of war in those countries. They 
constituted Rhegium their chief station ; expeditions were 
undertaken into the interior, and attacks made upon 
individual maritime places, without a fixed plan being 
pursued, or any important end achieved. Thus the Athe- 
nians made an attempt to take possession of the Liparean 
islands (vol. i. p. 477). But these small islands which 
had gained experience when defending themselves in the 
conflicts with the Tyrrhenians, offered an unexpected 
resistance to the Athenians, and thus furnished them 
with a standard for judging of the energy and power 
existing in the Dorian colonies. 

In the following spring, forty ships took their departure 
for Sicily, under Eurymedon and Sophocles. It was this 
fleet which had Demosthenes on board ; and, for Sicilian 
affairs, the delay at Pylus, of which the commanders so 
loudly complained (p. 155), was doubtless extremely dis- 
advantageous. For an entire summer was lost ; Messana, 
which had already been taken, fell into the hands of the 
Syracusans, and the Athenians only with difficulty suc- 
ceeded in maintaining themselves on the Italian side of 
the sound, at Rhegium. In the beginning of the eighth 
summer of the war great events seemed to be imminent in 
Sicily as well as in Hellas. A mighty fleet of from 
fifty to sixty sail lay at Rhegium ; and the great successes 
obtained in Peloponnesus filled the troops with confidence 
and ardor. But, on the other hand, the same events occa- 
sioned a political revolution in Sicily, which furnished a 
definite goal to all undertakings on the part of the 

* First armed interference on the part of Athens in the Sicilian 
troubles : Thuc. iii. 86 ; Diod. xii. 54. Philochorus ap. Schol. Ar. Veep. 
240. Lijara : Thuc. iii. 88. Eurymedon and Sophocles : Thuc. iv. 2 £ 

Chap, hi.] Jt a ly and Sicily. 279 

From the time that Syracuse possessed a 

free constitution, we find much resemblance Affairs of 

' > ^ Syracuse. 

between the state of affairs in that city and 
in Athens : contrasts prevailed between poor and rich, 
between the elder and the younger generation, between 
the moderate party among the citizens and the champions 
of an absolute democracy ; and at Syracuse political party 
feelings were in a state of flux and reflux even more law- 
less than at Athens. There existed a party which opeuly 
declared that it saw the ruin of the state in measureless 
democracy. This party was subjected to an unwearied 
succession of attacks from the demagogues who, like 
Cleon, pursued and endeavored to destroy all anti-con- 
stitutional tendencies. And yet men of aristocratic senti- 
ments maintained their ground at Syracuse, and, although 
in ordinary times their voices were drowned and themselves 
driven into the background, on extraordinary occasions 
they came forward again, because their knowledge of 
affairs, their courage, firmness, and incorruptibility, ensured 
them respect and confidence. This direct opposition of 
constitutional parties also extended to the management of 
foreign affairs. For as in Athens, so in Syracuse, the 
democratic party pursued an utterly inconsiderate and 
despotic course with reference to the lesser states, and 
wished to secure to the Syracusan people the rule over 
Sicily, while their opponents thought that moderation, 
caution, and justice were alone able permanently to estab- 
lish order in Sicilian affairs. 

After the war had been in the first instance provoked in 
Sicily by all kinds of unjustifiable acts, the dangers were 
recognized which the democratic policy had brought upon 
the state. The Syracusans were terrified to see that 
Athens was now free to act as she wished, while Sparta on 
the other hand was unable to send aid, and the Dorian 
colonies by themselves could not resist the Athenians. It 
therefore seemed necessary to use every effort in order to 

280 History of Greece. [ BooK IV. 

get rid of the Athenians, and for this purpose to enter 
upon a course of conciliatory policy, so as, if possible, to 
put an end to all disputes on Sicilian territory without the 
intervention of Athens. Under these circumstances the 
aristocratic party again obtained the upper hand in the 
state. The foremost man in this party was 

Hermocrates. TT n „ TT ~ 

Mermocrates, the son of Hermon, a feyra- 
cusan of noble birth, a decided opponent of Athens and 
of the Attic policy ; at the same time a general of proved 
merit, a statesman of clear intelligence, an eloquent 
orator and a man of unblemished reputation, who was 
therefore well adapted for securing universal confidence 
in Sicily. It operated in his favor, that the adversaries 
of Syracuse were without cohesion, and that the approach 
of the Attic fleet as well as the imminent outbreak of a 
great island war filled all the cities with awe. He accord- 
ingly in the first place succeeded in reconciling Camarina 
with Syracuse, and next in assembling a general congress 
at Gela, where all matters in dispute were to be discussed. 
When at Gela the Sicilian cities suc- 
Diet of Gela. cessively brought forward the matters in 

01. lxxxix. 1. . ... 

(b.C 424.)* which each was individually interested, 

Hermocrates spoke, in order by convincing 
representations to commend to the deputies the one 
interest common to all, viz., the welfare of the whole 
island. The interference of the Athenians could not be 
to the advantage of any one Sicilian state; for their 
object in coming to Sicily was not to assist their allies, 
but to subject to their dominion the whole island, both 
friends and foes. In opposition to these designs of con- 
quest the Sicilians ought to unite in the pursuit of a 
national policy, in order to preserve their native country 
from the lot of servitude. In the name of the first city 
of the island he offered the hand of reconciliation ; all 
disputes should be settled by peaceable discussion, and 
Sicily be one united empire, a confederation of free allied 

Chap, ill.] Jfajy an d Sicily. 281 

cities, whose citizens should regard themselves, not as 
Dorians and Ionians, nor as Leontinians and Syracusans, 
but as Siceliotes. Syracuse herself by actual concessions 
proved her desire for peace; and thus a universal settle- 
ment of differences was achieved with perfect success. A 
series of articles was agreed upon and confirmed by oath ; 
among them this proviso — that no port should be opened 
to any foreign power arriving with more than one ship of 
war. Sicily was better united against Athens than it had 
ever been against the barbarians. At the same time the 
Sicilians were wise enough not to assume the character of 
avowed enemies. Information was sent to the Athenian 
commanders of the decrees of the congress ; they were 
asked to assent to this agreement and then return home, 
the object of their presence having been 
accomplished, although not by themselves. ^ur^ned™ of 
Nothing remained for Eurymedon but to 
give in his assent. 

To refuse would have been to remove the last remaining 
doubt as to the selfish plans of Athens, and merely to 
confirm the islanders in their aversion and fear. The 
commanders were, notwithstanding, on their return to 
Athens received with undisguised signs of vexation, and 
punished with banishment and pecuniary fines, as if they 
had voluntarily sacrificed the interests of Athens. For 
the people in the insolence of triumph had already 
imagined itself master of all Sicily and now deemed 
itself deceived once for all in its hopes. But the more 
intelligent clearly perceived that the rapid reconciliation 
effected on the island would not prove permanent in its 
results, and that, sooner than they wished, new complica- 
tions must be expected. 

And in point of fact fresh disturbances 
broke out soon after the peace-diet at Gela- Le on t Y i°\ ution at 
The first place disturbed was Leontini. 
Here the democratic government had, for the purpose of 

282 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

increasing the strength of the city, admitted a number of 
new citizens, in whose favor it was desired to carry out a 
new distribution of lands. The rich inhabitants on the 
other hand entered into an alliance with Syracuse, 
expelled the members of the popular party, put an end to 
the existence of the city as such, and themselves emi- 
grated to Syracuse, which gradually and unobservedly 
again entered into the courses of a domineering policy. 
Meanwhile, love of their native ground soon brought 
back a part of the ancient inhabitants to the deserted 
Leontini, where they maintained themselves in several 
fortified positions against the Syracusans ; while the 
majority of the Leontinians remained in exile, and here- 
upon made eager applications for aid to the Athenians. 

Athens was at the moment crippled by the defeat at 
Delium (p. 174) and occupied with the affairs in Thrace; 
so that, not wishing to remain wholly inactive, she con- 
tented herself with sending to Sicily two vessels of war, 
whose commander Phseax was commissioned to endeavor 
to counteract the proceedings of Syracuse by means of ne- 
gotiation, and to encourage the opposite party to hold out. 
But as Phseax engaged in no serious proceedings, Syracuse 
succeeded in completely appropriating the territory of Le- 
ontini. Soon a new feud arose in the western part of the 
island, between Selinus and Egesta.* 

The Selinuntians had after the battle of 

Disputes be- Himera been on friendlier terms than before 
and Egesta. with the Greek cities of the island ; they had 
taken part in the expulsion of the Tyrants 
from Syracuse, and had prospered during the fifty years' 
peace ensuing upon that event. Their treasury was well 
filled. The groups belonging to their temples in the Up- 
per and Lower city, the remains of which to this day at- 
test a prolific progress of native art, prove as clearly as 

* Union of the Siceliotes under Hermocrates : Thuc. iv. 58 ff. — Phaeax, 
Thuc. v. 4. 

Chap. III.] Italy and Sicily. 283 

the coins of Selinus the high degree of prosperity and cul- 
ture to which that city attained. From an early period it 
was involved in constant disputes with Egesta (or Segesta), 
the city on the northern boundary of the Selinuntian ter- 
ritory, the capital of the Elymi (p. 211), to whom also be- 
longed the lofty rock of Eryx, with the city of the same 
name on the north-west coast of Sicily. The Elymi were 
by the Dorians regarded as barbarians, and received this 
appellation even from the Attic historians, although in 
language, usages and art they had followed the course of 
Hellenic civilization, as their temples and coins attest. 
Their Dorian neighbors avoided all contact with them ; 
accordingly frequent disputes concerning the right of in- 
termarriage had already taken place between Egesta and 
Selinus. Disputes as to the boundaries supervened; and, 
as the Syracusans did their best to incite the Selinuntians, 
and even supported the latter with troops against Egesta, 
the latter city, deserted by all aid, was closely besieged by 
water and by land.* In vain Egesta sought to obtain 
support at Acragas and at Carthage, and finally applied 
to Athens, in order here to urge the aid formerly furnished 
to the Leontinians as a justification for their own claim 
upon Attic assistance under circumstances 

o i i i i • m n i Egcstaean em- 

oi equal hardship, len years alter the em- bassy to Athens. 
bassy of Gorgias, in the latter part of the JJ^ ' 4 ' ^ B ' c ' 
summer of B.C. 416 (01. xci. 1), the Eges- 
taeans arrived at Athens ; and their arrival at last caused 
the actual outbreak of the Attico-Sicilian war.f 

* Selinus and Egesta. Thuc. vi. 6. 

f Was there really in existence any treaty of alliance between Egesta 
and Athens? Grote vii. 198, and Meier, Andoc. 118 (Opusc. Acad. i. 
337), erroneously found a conclusion in the affirmative upon Thuc. vi. 6, 
where Aeovrivuv should be construed with fv/ujuaxiav. Had an alliance 
with Egesta existed, it would be mentioned elsewhere, nor would the 
Egestseans have applied to Syracuse, Agrigentum and Carthage before 
Athens, as Diodorus states them to have done, xii. 82. 

^4 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

This result explains itself by the changes which had 
taken place in the states of the mother-country since the 
peace of Nicias. 



The peace of Nicias succeeded in the 
course of a few weeks by the conclusion Limited effects 
of an offensive and defensive alliance, had Nicias. 
occasioned an entire change in public affairs 
in the mother-country, and had called into life a new 
system of states. The two great powers had again 
mutually recognized one another, and combined for the 
purpose of carrying out the peace, as well as of preserving 
the status quo of their possessions. If they remained 
united, there could be no fear either of any serious danger 
to tranquility at home, or of any attack from abroad. 
The documentary instruments of the new political treaty had 
been confirmed by oath according to law, and solemnly 
placed on stone tablets in the Amyclseum and in the sanc- 
tuary of the city goddess at Athens ; nor was there on 
either side any lack of genuine friends of peace. But no 
real peace had, notwithstanding, been effected ; those evils 
of war which were most heavily felt had been temporarily 
removed — and this was all. Under the influence of the 
peace-parties a bare settlement of differences had been 
arrived at, but not a reconciliation between the two states, 
nor a real union of their interests and re-organization of 
national affairs which might be expected to become perma- 
nent. Accordingly it appeared immediately after the 
conclusion of the peace, that nowhere had satisfaction 
been given. The universal discontent was deeper, and 
the mutual relation between the individual states 
were less easy, than before the outbreak of the war : in 


286 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

the first instance between Sparta and her confederates, 
next between the leading states themselves, and finally 
within either of them individually, where new parties 
attained to power. 

The first fact which made itself manifest 
Movements after the peace of Nicias was the defection 

among the sec- i i-» i • ^ i 

ondary states, among the reloponnesian coniederates, an 
event which had long prepared itself. The 
members of the confederation demanded from its head a 
sincere and vigorous defence of their common interests ; 
they demanded the pursuit of a Peloponnesian policy; 
instead of which they had come to understand that Sparta 
only pursued the narrowest line of policy for the sake of 
her special interests, and that she claimed all the rights of 
the leadership without fulfilling its duties. For the sake of 
certain captive Spartans the peace had been sought for 
many years, and now at last obtained ; meanwhile, the 
grievances and wishes of the confederates, which had been 
the main cause of the whole war, had been entirely 
neglected, and Sparta, well aware of the wrong committed 
by her, was accordingly obliged to conclude an armed 
alliance with her enemy, in order not to be left entirely 
isolated. Athens stood in no need of this alliance ; it was 
Sparta who sought for protection, even against her own 
Helots. Hence to the feeling of indignation against 
Sparta's inconsiderate selfishness was added that of con- 
tempt. The Peloponnesians felt that they had been 
betrayed ; and particularly, the last article of the treaty 
in which Athens and Sparta expressly reserved to them- 
selves the right of amending its provisions according to 
their judgment, had provoked extreme excitement; for 
this article appeared in the light not only of a proof of utter 
disregard for the states of secondary and tertiary rank, 
but also of a secretly preconcerted agreement which was 
to lead to their subjection under the leading states.* 

* See the article in Thuc. t. 23. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 287 

Corinth, who, notwithstanding her unwearying exertions, 
had gained none of her objects, and was now even obliged 
to leave her most important positions on the Ionian Sea, 
Sollium and Anactorium, in the hands of the enemy, put 
herself at the head of the movement and rested her hopes 
above all on Argos. The latter state 

i iti ill Argos, Corinth. 

had regarded the war recently closed, 
as it had the Persian, in an attitude of unmoved 
repose. Since the outbreak of hostile feelings between 
the two leading states, Argos had stood on the side 
of Athens, but had cautiously remained in the back- 
ground, and in 01. lxxxii. 3 (b.c. 450) circ. } concluded a 
thirty years' peace with Sparta. Secured by this treaty, 
Argos had appropriated to herself all the advantages 
which are wont to fall to the lot of neutral states in times 
of war. During an undisturbed era of peace she had 
recovered from her former calamities, but had never re- 
nounced the remembrance of her ancient greatness, her 
claims on Thyreatis and her sturdy refusal to submit to 
the hegemony of Sparta. Hemmed in from without, she 
had within, increased her strength by a concentration of 
her polity. Argos had developed a democratic constitu- 
tion, while at the same time endeavoring to increase her 
defensive force after a very peculiar fashion. One thou- 
sand picked men, belonging to families of consideration, 
formed a select band of veterans who lived at the public 
expense and entirely devoted themselves to military 
duties ; a clear proof of the serious preparations in pro- 
gress against Sparta, whom it was intended to oppose with 
soldiers equal in birth and training to her own. Another 
characteristic feature in the policy of the Argives was 
their persistent refusal, notwithstanding their weakness,* 
to renounce the position of a great power, for which reason 
they also maintained relations on their own account with 

* Discontent of the Peloponnesians : Thuo. v. 17, 20 : 01 n-oAAot oip^vTo 
»pb? 'Apyciovs, ib. 29. Callias and the Argives: Herod, vii. 151. 

288 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

the Persian king. Callias (vol. ii. p. 454) met with 
Argives at Susa, who were assuring themselves of the 
favor of Artaxerxes. 

With the peace of Nicias a new era commenced for 
Argos, to whom the expiration of the treaty gave 
liberty of action. The time seemed to have arrived 
for her to step forward from her retirement and realize 
her ambitious schemes. For it was now generally said 
in Peloponnesus, that Sparta had forfeited the leader- 
ship by her base treachery ; that her place was vacant, 
and that the city of Agamemnon was called to occupy 
her ancient post of honor. The Corinthians, who 
themselves could never exert their activity in any but 
the second place, unceasingly urged Argos forward, 
and, when they found willing listeners, summoned the 
deputies of the Peloponnesians to a meeting in their city, 
in order that a separate league (Sonderbund) might 
openly and publicly be founded to protect the interests 
of the states of the second class.* The Achsean cities 
were found ready to join this alliance. For a long 
time Elis had been estranged from the Spartans 
(vol. ii. p. 434), and recently open enmity 
had broken out between the two states on 
account of Lepreum. The Lepreatse, dwelling in Southern 
Triphylia, on the borders of Messenia and Arcadia, had 
been supported by the Eleans against the Arcadians, and 
had in return undertaken the obligation of ceding to them 
half their territory, which the Eleans had returned to 
them on condition of the payment of an annual contribu- 
tion to the temple at Olympia. This contribution they 
refused to continue after the commencement of the war, 
committing the decision of the matter to Sparta. When 
the Eleans, without awaiting this decision, made war upon 
Lepreum, the Spartans placed a garrison in the latter 

* Thuc. v. 30. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 289 

city, and even after the conclusion of the peace refused to 
restore the territory to the Eleans, who believed them- 
selves to possess a just claim upon the lands of the 
Lepreatse in conformity with the stipulation of the treaty, 
according to which the status quo before the outbreak of 
the war was to be everywhere restored.* 

To these movements was added another in Arcadia, 
where Mantinea, supported by Argos, had risen to an 
importance which now for the first time 

.... .11 an d Mantinea. 

enabled her to occupy an independent 
position among the states of the second class.f The citi- 
zens of Mantinea had brought the remains of Areas, the 
royal ancestor of the whole race, from Msenalus into their 
city, in order by this means to invest the latter with the 
character of a national capital ; they also endeavored to 
enlarge their territory by conquests in the interior of 
Arcadia, where the mountain tribes dwelt, united by the 
loose bonds of district associations. At the present crisis 
the Mantineans openly espoused the cause of the adver- 
saries of Sparta, because it was in the interest of the latter 
to prevent all changes in the ancient political relations 
prevailing in the peninsula. A strong im- 
pression was created by the fact of an The separate 

. ,. ... 'ii league of the 

Arcadian city having joined the separate Peioponnesian 
league of the secondary states; the whole ? UUs ; 0h 

1 A A. A I A • * A • V 

political system of Peloponnesus was, as it c. 420.) 
were, unhinged, and all feelings of reverence 
towards Sparta had been converted into hatred and con- 
tempt. Sparta, indeed, by envoys sternly protested at 
Corinth against these revolutionary doings. She appealed 
to the Peioponnesian law, according to which the decrees 
of the majority were binding upon all the confederates. 

* Thuc. v. 31. 

f As to Mantinea*6 desire to become a leading city (Grosstadt), se« 
Pausan. viii. 9; Curtius, Peloponnesus, i. 238. 

290 History of Greece. I b °ok IV. 

Corinth in return appealed to the more sacred obligation 
of sworn promises, and declared that under no circum- 
stances could she permit herself to betray the cause of the 
Chalcidian cities. After the Corinthians had thus justified 
their political conduct, the Eleans concluded an alliance 
first with them and then with the Argrves. In Argos the 
alliance was hereupon further joined by the Chalcidian 
cities, which had been very recently greatly disturbed as 
to their own safety by the fall of Scione, whose garrison 
Athens had put to death and replaced by Platseans. 

The Peloponnesian confederation was dissolved, and 
everything now depended upon bringing over into the 
Argive-Corinthian separate league the doubtful states, viz. 
Megara and Thebes, and those which still remained faith- 
ful to the Spartans. 

The new league commenced its common action by the 
despatch of an embassy to Tegea. But here all attempts 
proved futile ; and the enmity of the neighbors Tegea 
and Mantinea outweighed all other considerations. This 
time, Tegea (vol. ii. p. 433), probably actuated by an 
ancient jealousy against the rising ambition of her neigh- 
bor, stood firm and immovable, and Sparta regained her 
self-confidence as she witnessed the fidelity of the Tegeatsa. 
Plistoanax invaded Arcadia, the Man- 
Action of tineans were expelled from the territory 

Sparta against , . - _ 

it. conquered by them, while .Lepreum was 

most strenuously protected against Elis by a 
garrison of Helots, whose services under Brasidas had 
obtained for them their liberty.* These events operated 
very discouragingly upon the undertakings of the counter- 
league ; the secondary states had manifestly reckoned too 
prematurely upon a general defection on the part of the 
Peloponnesians ; there was a want of confidence and 
cohesion; and Argos in particular, which had with such 

* Plistoanax in Aroadia : Thuc. v. 33. 

Chap. IV.] To tlie End of the Sicilian War. 291 

unexpected rapidity been called upon to play a prominent 
part, lacked all experience and preparation. Argos 
oscillated hither and thither in anxious timidity ; nor 
could the other states conceal from themselves their own 
unfortunate position, as they had made enemies of both 
the leading states, and were obliged to recognize the 
difficulty of forming a third power in Greece. 
The movement on the part of the 
secondary states would have remained ecutToiTof the 
wholly insignificant had the two leading conditions of 

. pi i P e ace by Sparta 

powers entertained sentiments 01 real good- and Athens, 
will towards one another. But even be- 
tween them no union was effected ; scarcely for half a 
year were they even able to continue upon tolerably 
friendly terms ; nor was even the execution of the 
conditions of the peace seriously proceeded with, although 
it had been solemnly promised in case of necessity to carry 
them out by force. Sparta especially could not bring 
herself immediately to relinquish the advantages obtained 
in Thrace, and to allow the Athenians completely to 
restore their power in that country. Accordingly, after 
securing their main object, viz. the liberation of the 
Pylian prisoners, the Spartans were at bottom well 
pleased, when Clearidas (p. 203), who pursued the policy 
of Brasidas, refused to give up Amphipolis and the other 
cities in its vicinity which had revolted against Athens. 
The Spartans declared themselves to have proved their 
good faith by restoring the Attic prisoners and with- 
drawing their troops from the Thracian cities ; to force 
Amphipolis they asserted was beyond their power. 
Similarly, the frontier-fortress Panactum remained in the 
hands of the Bceotians. The natural consequence was 
that Athens also continued to hold Pylus occupied, and 
only gave way in so far as to remove the garrison com- 
posed of Messenians &nd Helots, and to substitute 
Athenians in their stead. Thus the summer passed amidst 

292 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

protracted negotiations, which led to no result. But both 
states continued to make new attempts at effecting a 
settlement, and the Spartans even offered to force Bceotia 
to deliver up the disputed frontier-fortress ; for as yet 
both in Sparta and Athens those parties stood at the helm 
of state which were really anxious for peace. 

But as earlv as the autumn a change 

Policy of the - . _ / . _ . & 

new Ephors. 01. ensued in this state ot things. A new 
42oY X 4 ^ B °* Doai> d of Ephors was chosen, composed of 
men of an entirely different tendency, 
unquiet and ambitious spirits, such as especially Cleobulus 
and Xenares. They were decidedly against the peace 
which had brought upon Sparta nothing but humiliation 
and losses ; they boldly opposed the party which, led by 
Plistoanax, was supported by the ancient Laconian 
conscientiousness and timidity, as well as by the ancient 
dislike of undertakings of a wide scope ; they exerted 
themselves for the purpose of putting as speedily as 
possible an end to the unnatural and obstructive alliance 
which had been concluded. But, since at present the 
stipulations of the treaty were binding, and prevented the 
conclusion of any other treaties by Sparta, the Ephors 
were forced to gain their end by circuitous proceedings, 
and in the first instance endeavored to effect a union 
between Thebes and Argos. These states were to form 
the starting-point of a new combination against Athens, 
which Sparta was openly to join, when the suitable period 
had arrived : by this means it was hoped at the same time 
to avoid all dangers from the separate league of the 
secondary states. 

The plan was cunningly devised, and its 

Conclusion of execution successfully commenced. For, 

tween Sparta after their ardent outset in the course of 

and Thebes. 01. t ne j r new policy, the Argives had relapsed 

420.) into timidity ; they feared that they would 

be left in the lurch alone against their 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War, 293 

hostile neighbor, and accordingly, renouncing their 
ambitious plans, hastened to make overtures to Sparta. 
It was a matter of far greater difficulty to deal with the 
obstinate Boeotians. Their federal generals, indeed, were 
ready to accept every proposal, but the boards of the 
council which constituted the supreme municipal authori- 
ty refused to grant the powers desired by the generals, 
and this for no other reason except their fear that a 
junction with the Peloponnesian seceders, the members of 
the separate league, would offend Sparta, the natural ally 
ofBceotia. They failed to see through the insidious 
policy of the Ephors, and, as it was impossible for them to 
disclose their secret intentions, this misunderstanding 
ruined the entire transaction, which had evidently not 
been contrived with an excess of diplomatic skill. The 
Spartans were now obliged to adopt a more straight- 
forward line of conduct. Their primary object was the 
recovery of Pylus, which they could only hope to obtain 
by the evacuation of Panactum. They accordingly sent 
envoys to the Boeotians, to induce them to evacuate the 
frontier-fortress ; but this was decisively refused by the 
Boeotians, unless Sparta would consent to conclude an 
alliance with them. They urged this step upon Sparta, 
in order thus to occasion a violation of the treaty with 
Athens, which had entirely altered the foreign relations 
of the Boeotians, who were now desirous of taking advan- 
tage of this opportunity for obtaining a strong position in 
the affairs of Greece. The Spartans gave way, because 
they hereby hoped to realize their immediate objects, and 
because irrespectively of these, they would have been well 
content to renew their alliance with Thebes as a means of 
strengthening themselves against Athens. The alliance 
was accordingly concluded in the spring of B.C. 420 (01. 
lxxxix. 4) at Thebes ; and the Spartan Envoys immedi- 
ately repaired to Athens, where, after handing over the 
disputed frontier-fortress and all the prisoners of war still 

294 History of Greece. [ BooK IV - 

detained in Bceotia, they hoped to recover Pylus. But 
they greatly deceived themselves in hoping thus easily to 
secure a double gain. The walls of Panactum had been 
in the mean time razed by the Boeotians ; so that the 
evacuation of the place could in point of fact not be re- 
garded by the Athenians in the light of an honest fulfill- 
ment of the conditions of the peace. More- 
tu^ofthe Im- over, they were justified in representing the 
ance between Boeotian treaty as an open violation of the 
Sparta. peace, both Athens and Sparta having 

promised to conclude no separate treaties 
with any third state. The consequence was, that the 
Athenians hereupon declared themselves to be equally 
absolved from all obligations, and dismissed the envoys 
with an extremely unfriendly answer. The Thebans had 
thus completely accomplished their object — the odious 
alliance between the two great powers was virtually at an 
end ; and the further consequence was, that another party 
now obtained the upper hand at Athens.* 

Athens was the only state which, in the 
Niciasandthe midst of the confusion ensuing upon the 
Athens. conclusion of the peace, stood firm and re- 

mained free from all danger. The influence 
of Nicias was at its height. His plans were even advanced 
by the difficulties of Sparta, on the strength of which he 
was able to convince the Spartans, that they would have 
to attach themselves all the more intimately to Athens, as 
they saw the power of their individual state so rudely 
shaken by the movement among the Helots, by the defec- 
tion of the Peloponnesians, and by the perversity of their 
former confederates. For this reason he had so eagerly 
advocated the conversion of the treaty of peace into one 
of an armed alliance, believing that, if Athens and Sparta 

* As to the non-execution of the conditions of the peace, see Thuc. r. 
35 ; new Ephors at Sparta, ib. c. 36. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 295 

honestly held together in a manner corresponding to the 
interests of either, and if they mutually guaranteed the 
status quo of their respective possessions, the best pledge 
would have been obtained for a lasting peace in Greece. 
The policy which he hoped once more to establish was 
accordingly in all essentials the ancient policy of Cimon. 
Public opinion was in his favor. For that it was no longer 
particular classes and parties, but the whole population, 
which longed for a termination to the suffer- 
ings of war, is proved by the Peace of pa A ™to P hanis 
Aristophanes, acted at the great Dionysia 
shortly before the conclusion of the treaties.* In this 
festive play, which is as it were intoxicated by the mere 
anticipation of the coming happy era, the imprisoned 
goddess Peace is liberated amidst rejoicings, and brought 
down together with her long-missed companions "Autumn 
Joy " and " Festive Bliss ;" the two pestles with which the 
god of war is said to have pounded poor Hellas, i. e. 
Cleon and Brasidas, having now been happily removed. 
Thus Nicias was widely esteemed and lauded as a public 
benefactor. At last there was again room for hope, that 
the gaps in the civic community might be filled up by a 
new growth of citizens; and there were, after a long 
interval moneys to deposit in the treasury .f With Delphi 
also, as many pious souls rejoiced to think, a good under- 
standing had been once more established ; and at the 
bidding of the god the exiled Delians (p. 200) w°re rein- 
stated on their island. 

But the fatality, which had from the first attended the 
policy of those who advocated a union of the Greek 
states, once more intervened : the success of this policy 
always depended upon the bearing of Sparta, and was 
seriously damaged by every act of faithlessness on her 

* Date of Ar. Pax. the thirteenth year of the war : Pax. ver. 99, cf. 
Argum. Cod. Ver. 

t Boeckh, P. E. of A, vol. ii. p. 194 [E. Tr.]. 

296 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

Political short- P art - Nicias was short-sighted enough to 
sightedness of believe in the tenability of a combination 


to which Sparta had only agreed in a mo- 
ment of temporary difficulty, and under the influence of 
Plistoanax and his party ; and even in the carrying out 
of the treaty Nicias had shown want of caution. For 
although, as is related, he even resorted to corruption in 
order to induce Sparta to be the first to carry into execu- 
tion the conditions of the peace, yet he assumed the order 
given for the evacuation of Amphipolis to be equivalent 
to an accomplished fact, ordered the liberation of the 
prisoners taken at Pylus before the Thracian cities had 
been given up to the Athenians, and thus threw away the 
most powerful lever in the hands of Athens for inducing 
Sparta to fulfil her obligations. The Athenians found 
themselves deceived ; the intrigues of Sparta became 
clearer and clearer ; and the deep irritation caused by the 
conduct of public affairs found a passionate expression in 
the speeches of Alcibiades.* 

The times in which the fate of the city depended upon 
individual citizens seemed to have passed away in Athens. 
The spread of culture equalized more and more the differ- 
ences between single characters and capacities Cleon and 
Nicias themselves had been influential, not so much as 
eminent personages to whose superiority the community 
submitted, as by constituting themselves the clearest 
exponents of certain sentiments and party tendencies. 
But now a man came forward among the people, whose 
rich natural gifts distinguished him before and above all 
the rest, and the brilliancy of whose unique personality 
exercised a daemonic influence upon his fellow-citizens, so 
that the destinies of the state were in the main directed by 
him up to the end of the whole war. 

* The Athenians repented of the premature extradition of the Spartan 
prisoners. Thuc. v. 35. 

Chap, iv.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 297 

For a series of years already the inhabi- 
tants of Athens had taken the most lively Alcibiadestha 

. . . , , son of Clinias. 

interest m the youthful Alcibiades, who 
united in himself everything capable of enchaining the 
attention of the public. He was the grandson of the 
Alcibiades who, as the friend of Clisthenes, had intimately 
connected himself with the reforms of the latter statesman 
(vol. i. p. 397), and the son of Clinias, a hero of the Wars 
of Liberation, who, on his own trireme, had gained the 
prize of valor at Artemisium, and who had subsequently 
strengthened the connection with the Alcmseonida^, which 
he inherited from his father, by taking to wife Dinomache, 
the daughter of Megacles. Clinias fell in the battle of 
Coronea (vol. ii. p. 449), and left behind him two boys, 
Alcibiades and Clinias, whom by his last will he entrusted 
as wards to Pericles and his brother Ariphron. Alcibi- 
ades was at that time about five years of age, and hereupon 
grew up under the eyes of his mother, without the dis* 
cipline of paternal guidance which such a nature as his 
could least afford to spare. For, together with the greatest 
multiplicity of natural gifts, which made all intellectual 
and physical exercises appear mere play to him, his char- 
acter unfolded an indomitable arrogance which knew no 
bounds, a conscious pride in the wealth and splendor of 
his family, and a bold relief in his own powers, which was 
fostered by youthful vigor, perfect health, a lordly figure, 
and rare personal beauty. The Thracian slave, to whom 
his guardians had assigned the duties of pedagogue, was 
unable to restrain the vivacity of the boy, who thus grew 
up into a youth well instructed in all branches of Attic 
culture, but with a mind undisciplined, untamed, and 
fanciful, never accustomed to obedience, and thoroughly 
incapable of self-mastery. His entrance into public life 
was ill adapted for making up for the errors and deficien- 
cies in his training. For, among a people so receptive as 

the Athenians for impressions produced by brilliant quali- 


298 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

ties, the high-born and spirited young man became the 
object of universal homage ; all his wild escapades were 
pardoned, nay, even borne with loud applause from mouth 
to mouth. The last doings of the son of Clinias, his 
fashions of dress, his ways of speaking, were immediately 
adopted by all Athens, and imitated as the latest fashion ; 
the artists took him as a model for their figures of Hermes, 
in which they represented the beauty of the Attic ephebus ; 
and the vain youth was not only environed by the flatteries 
of ordinary men, but even the most famous men of the 
age, such as Prodicus and Protagoras, felt the charm of 
his personality, and deemed themselves highly honored by 
any favor he deigned to bestow upon them. And Peri- 
cles? Was he unmindful of his youthful relative, whom 
the confidence of his noble father had confided to his care ? 
Was nothing done by him to prevent the demoralization 
of his ward, which could only bring evil to the latter and 
to the city ? True, he was even in ancient times accused 
cf having neglected his duty ; and it is possible that his 
experience as to his own sons induced him to esteem too 
lightly the influences of education and example in general, 
and, accordingly, to leave the youthful Alcibiades, more 
than was well, to himself and to his inefficient pedagogue. 
Yet a proof of his care as guardian is to be found in the 
circumstance that he separated the younger brother Clinias 
from Alcibiades, in order to guard against the former being 
spoilt by the latter; and however incorrigible he must 
often have thought Alcibiades, yet he is stated for a time 
to have kept him in his own house. Pericles must, after 
all, have put trust in the better tendencies inborn in Alci- 
biades. Notwithstanding all his dissatisfaction with his 
ward, he never broke off personal intercourse with him ; 
and Alcibiades was among the intimate associates wh(? 
remained around Pericles in his retirement, and who per- 
suaded him once more to return to public life (p. 75). 
Alcibiades could not but recognize the intellectual powef 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 299 

and greatness of Pericles ; but he had no sense of appre- 
ciation for the best features in Pericles' character, for his 
calm moderation and reflecting caution. It seemed to 
him as if Pericles had stood still half-way on his course ; 
he ridiculed his guardian for taking pains to render an 
account to the civic assembly according to constitutional 
prescription, instead of discovering a mode of doing away 
with the necessity of rendering any account at all. Thus 
he ventured to lay his injunctions upon Pericles ; and 
even to Pericles his haughty spirit refused to subordinate 

The endeavor in which the great Pericles 
had failed succeeded in the hands of a man Alcibiades and 


of insignificant appearance and position, 
who in those days walked the streets of Athens in volun- 
tary poverty, bare-footed, and in mean apparel — by his 
calling a handicraftsman, who had quitted his workshop 
because an inner voice impelled him to move about among 
the multitude, to converse with men of all classes, to 
allow himself to be instructed by them, or to suggest to 
their minds problems, which became the germ of serious 
self-inquiry and moral elevation. This was Socrates, the 
son of the sculptor Sophroniscus, who was forty years of 
age at the time of the death of Pericles. Among the 
mixed population, in which, after the terrible visitations 
of pestilence and war, immorality, frivolity, and conceited 
half-culture were making irresistible and increasing ad- 
vances, he unceasingly sought for men to whom he could 

* Youth of Ale, Plut. Ale. 1 — 17 : cf. Hertzberg, Alk. der Staatsmann 
u. Feldherr, pp. 18 — 72. For the relations between Pericles and Alci- 
biades, see Plut. Ale. i. 122; Protag. 320. "Ale. educatus in domo P." 
(Corn. Nepos, c. 2); "apud avunculum eruditus" (Aul. Gell. xv. 17); 
" Tpe^dj/.ei'os nap outw" (Diod. xii. 38). Alcibiades as a model for 
statuaries, Clemens Ooh. ad Gentes, p. 47 ; as the leader of luxurious 
young Athens in Comedy, Ar. Dsetal. xvi., Acharn. 680, 716 ; as the 
inventor of " a morning draught/' Eupolis, Fr. 303 ; Meineke, Fr. Com* 
Gr. 1847, i.p. xxiv. 

300 History of Greece [Book IV. 

offer his services : and thus his eye fell among others upon 
the son of Clinias, who at the time numbered about nine- 
teen years ; and the idea seized hold of him, that he 
might be enabled to raise that gifted youth out of the in- 
toxicating fumes of sensuality, and to save his better self. 
Socrates felt that he could perform no service greater than 
this for Athens. 

When Socrates first made overtures to Alcibiades, the 
latter, like most of the Athenians, thought that he had 
before him only a sophist of a peculiar style, and he took 
delight in measuring himself with this sophist in skillful 
word-fencing and ready dialectics, in which Alcibiades 
believed himself the equal of any other Athenian. The 
strange bearing of the man attracted his curiosity ; and 
he was struck by the unselfishness with which Socrates 
expended time and trouble on behalf of others. But 
soon an interest of a totally different kind was awakened 
in him. For Socrates was not one of those who vended 
their wisdom in ready phrases to every man desirous of 
listening to them, and who thereby rather sought to 
satisfy their vanity, than to create a deep and lasting im- 
pression in their scholars. He incidentally attached the 
thread of his discourses to the most insignificant objects 
of daily life ; by a series of simple questions he endea- 
vored to arouse an impulse towards serious and indepen- 
dent thought, which seized upon the whole mind, for the 
first time opened to his youthful companions the depths of 
*he life of their own souls, and awakened a movement full 
of anticipations of truth and not devoid of pain — a move- 
ment which they were themselves unable either to com- 
prehend or to command, and which he compared to the 
throes of labor preceding the unfolding of a new life ; and 
he therefore himself desired to be nothing but the man- 
midwife, in order to deliver the germs of the Divine 
existing in the human breast from the forces obstructing 
them, and to bring these germs forth to light. The eyes 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 301 

of Alcibiades were thus for the first time opened as to the 
vanity of nis life and doings ; a mental world lay before 
his eyes of which he had never dreamt before, a virtue 
and moral grandeur upon which he gazed in dumb amaze- 
ment. Hitherto spoilt, admired and envied on all sides, 
surrounded by flatterers whose selfish and greedy intru- 
siveness could not but fill him with contempt towards 
mankind, he now found one who esteemed as nothing his 
beauty and gifts of fortune, who unsparingly revealed to 
him his frailties and faults, who remained inaccessible to 
all the seductive favors expended on him by Alcibiades, 
and who sought nothing from him but his immortal soul. 
And as Alcibiades was now obliged to confess to himself 
that all this search and all this labor had no other motive 
than the deepest and purest philanthropy, such as he had 
never met with elsewhere, it was impossible for him to 
resist the power of this love, united as it was to the lofty 
earnestness of wisdom. For the first time he felt con- 
founded, humiliated, and deeply ashamed of himself. 
His empty conceit of his brilliant advantages, of his 
inborn genius as an equivalent for all learning and study, 
of his natural calling to a statesman's career, vanished 
into air. He came to see the truth : that the self-know- 
ledge required by the Delphic god was the foundation of 
all virtue, and that he who wished to command others 
must first learn to command himself. Before his soul the 
image presented itself of a state, whose greatness, in con- 
formity with the ideas of Pericles, was based upon intel- 
lectual culture, civic virtue and unity ; he arrived at a 
perception of the fact, that nothing expedient or salutary 
can exist which contradicts the idea of justice, and well 
understood what position he must, in accordance with such 
a perception, himself occupy in the commonwealth. 
Amidst hot tears he confessed, that a life to which Socrates 
objected was not to be called a life at all. Nor was this 
a passing affection of the mind: but with a grateful 

302 History of Greece. [Book IV 

heart he attached himself to Socrates as to a paternal 
friend, shared his meals, visited the palaestrae in his 
company, was his tent-fellow in the field , and, after once 
at Potidaea (01. Ixxxvii. 1 ; b. c. 432) owing his life to 
Socrates, he in return, at the risk of his own, saved the 
life of his friend in the unfortunate battle of Delium. 
The frivolous multitude jeered at this strange companion- 
ship between Alcibiades and the ugly philosopher, and 
suggested evil explanations of it ; but Alcibiades refused 
to allow it to be disturbed. This relation between the 
pair, which continued for several years, is in truth an 
irresistible testimony to the genuine element of nobility in 
the character of Alcibiades, who was created for and called 
by nature to the performance of all, even of the highest, 
duties of society. 

As to the receptivity of Alcibiades, there- 
Political atti- f ore Socrates had not come too late ; for he 

tude of Alcibi- . ' 

adea. still found m him a youthful soul capable 

of the loftiest inspirations, and possessed of 
sufficient vital force to raise himself out of the mire of 
sensuality. But to effect a permanent reaction, and a 
lasting and fixed change of mind lay beyond the power even 
of a Socrates. The virtue of the ancients stood in need 
of the support of early habits ; and in this respect Alcibi- 
ades had met with his paternal friend too late. He was 
able to be an enthusiast for Socratic virtue, but to remain 
true to its principles, to renounce himself and everything 
in which he took pride and to become another man, this 
he could not do : he accordingly oscillated between two 
mutually irreconcilable ends of life, and was at last 
drawn away by his ambition to where splendor and power 
beckoned him. He was then obliged to drown again the 
voice of conscience awakened in him, and his conscious 
falling away from that which he had recognized to be the 
right made him more unconscientious and immoral than 
ever before. It had not been the design of Socrates to 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 303 

take him away from public life ; but the Socratic road, 
which led through the school of earnest self-examination 
and self-denial to the statesman's calling, was too incon- 
venient and too uncertain for the passionate impatience of 
Alcibiades. He wished to employ all the means bestowed 
upon him, so as to be the first man in Athens; and as 
soon, therefore, as a prospect of a splendid career opened 
before his eyes, he cast himself into the whirlpool of 
parties, not in order manfully to champion any particular 
and definite view of his own as to the true principles 
which ought to guide the state, but in order in any and 
°very way to satisfy the cravings of his ambition. 

The politics of his family had in the last generations 
been anti-Laconian ; but his ambition and spirit of con- 
tradiction attracted him to the opposite side. In the 
period after the death of Pericles he, like the majority of 
the young nobles, came forward as an opponent of demo- 
cratic government and of those who then advocated its 
cause ; he even renewed the connection of his house with 
Spara, to which his grandfather had put an end, and was 
extremely attentive to the well-being of the prisoners from 
Pylus, in order thus to make himself a good name in their 
home. To these services he appealed, when the negotia- 
tions were in progress between the two great states ; and, 
as he from the first felt a peculiar inclination and capacity 
for diplomatic business, he desired to play a prominent 
part as the confidential friend of Sparta. But Sparta 
refused to avail herself of his services ; Nicias was pre- 
ferred to him as one on whom greater reliance could be 
placed ; and, burning with wrath at this frustration of 
his schemes, he now cast his lot in with the other side, and 
endeavored to acquire political importance as leader of 
the Demos, and as the enemy of Sparta.* 

The situation of affairs favored his efforts. After the 

* Plut. Ale. 14. 

304 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

death of Cleon, the people was without any leader of 
distinguished importance, with whom it was able to meet 
the party of the nobles and moderates. 
to":a"o! Hyperbolas, indeed, a man of obscure 
pie in the place origin, by his calling a potter and manu- 
facturer of lamps, who had been serviceable 
to Cleon as a sycophant, for a time not unsuccessfully 
attempted to take his late leader's place ; but his moral 
worthlessness and utter want of superior culture were too 
evident to allow of his long maintaining himself in this 
position.* Moreover, the whole method of political 
leadership, as practised by Cleon, had been brought into 
disrepute by his last undertakings. The people, after all, 
felt the need of men of superior gifts, who should be able 
to lead the multitude ; and no man was to be found who 
in so high a degree shared its preferences and tendencies, 
and yet at the same time overtopped it by superiority of 
intelligence and vigor of resolution, as well as by wealth 
and birth, as Alcibiades. In him seemed to be united the 
different qualities which had made powerful party leaders 
of a Pericles, a Nicias, and a Cleon ; and therefore the 
multitude, in want of a leader, readily followed him, and 
believed itself right in expecting from him the most 
vigorous espousal of its interests. His influence rose in 
proportion as the dissatisfaction with the political pro- 
ceedings of Nicias spread more universally at Athens. 

By the death of Cleon at Amphipolis Nicias thought 
himself freed from his most dangerous adversary. But 
now an incomparably more arduous struggle and the real 
troubles of his life commenced for him, who valued nothing 
more highly than a tranquil and undisputed position. 
For he now met with an opponent possessed of all the 
talents which he lacked himself, a man as restless and 

* " , A.iropu)i> b S7JM0? cjriTpdjrov ical yvfLvbs S>v toutov tc'ws rov avSpa Trepi<>£<* 
e«To."— Ar. Pax, 687. Plut. Ale. 13 ; Cobet, Platon. Bel. pp. 146 sq. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 305 

unconscientious as Cleon, but at the same time full of 
creative intellectual power. Nicias had not proved him- 
self efficient. He had prematurely caused the prisoners 
to be released before obtaining a satisfactory guarantee for 
the evacuation of Amphipolis. But a decisive proof of his 
failure occurred in the conclusion ol the alliance between 
Sparta and Boeotia (p. 293). For this was an event which 
removed all doubts as to the fact that Athens had been 
shamefully deceived in her honestly-meant peace policy, 
and it was eagerly welcomed by those who wished as soon 
as possible to put an end to the rotten peace and to bring 
ruin upon traitorous Sparta. This party was led by 
Alcibiades, because he could in this way most fully wreak 
his vengeance upon the Spartans, as a new war would 
afford him an opportunity for the most brilliant display of 
his talents, and thus advance him with the greatest 
rapidity to fame and unlimited influence. For in this 
matter he had the great majority of the populace on his 
side, the same which had for years supported the war 
policy of Cleon, and in addition a large number of young 
men, who put trust in his good fortune and wished to share 
its gifts. 

As to his plans of war operations, he was 
in favor, not of a war of defence such as Hls P la " s of 

' war operations. 

Pericles had conducted, but of an offensive 
war, opening up a prospect of fame and profit. As, how- 
ever, the moment had not yet arrived for a resumption of 
active war, the plan of Alcibiades was, during the con- 
tinuance of the peace to attack Sparta at her most vulnera- 
ble point, by taking advantage of the breaking-up of the 
Peloponnesian confederation for obtaining a vigorous ally 
for Athens in the Doric peninsula. Therefore he had 
already entered into previous communications with Argos, 
in order to give information to the leaders of the people 
there of the imminent downfall of the Laconian party at 
Athens, and to secure their assent to an Attic alliance. 

306 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

Speed was necessary, for Argos was so terrified by the 
conclusion of the treaty between Bceotia and Sparta, that 
she was hurriedly taking steps for securing her own posi- 
tion by means of a settlement of differences. 

Hereupon Alcibiades acted with fearless 
emSeT* at resolutiou > as if he had already been su- 
Athens. preme at Athens. By his instigation Argive 

deputies appeared there, accompanied by 
envoys from allies of their state, the Eleans and Mantine- 

ans, the most unbending foes of Sparta. 

HanTteCen In ** 8 P rfn g ° f ^ ™ «>L lxxxix. 4) 

Athens, Argos, they met at Athens the envoys of Sparta, 
tinea". * Oi~ wno were commissioned to appease the anger 
\ll x } x ' 4t (B * c * of Ath ens caused by the Theban alliance, 

420.) v ' 

and at any price to restore a good under- 
standing between the two great powers. These concilia- 
tory overtures exercised the intended effect. The authority 
of Alcibiades for all future time was at stake: he was 
accordingly obliged to resort to the most daring and fear- 
less measures in order to prevent the rejection of the 
demands of the Argives, who built upon his promises. 
He therefore persuaded the Spartans, who had introduced 
themselves with full and absolute powers to the Council 
of the Five Hundred, to adopt a tone in their address to 
the public assembly implying that they were not empow- 
ered to conclude anything definite; while he promised 
them in return to effect the restoration of Pylus to Sparta. 
The Spartans were unsuspectingly caught in the trap : 
whereupon Alcibiades made use of the contradictory 
character of their statements in order next day vehe- 
mently to inveigh against their untruthfulness before the 
assembled people, and hereby to inflict an unexpected 
blow upon the entire peace party.* Now, it was every- 
where said, it had surely become evident how impossible 

* Thuc. v. 44 sqq.; Plut. Ale. 14. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 307 

it was to carry on negotiations fairly with Sparta, whose 
envoys every day changed their tone ; other friends must 
be sought, friends, the similarity of whose political consti- 
tution and the identity of whose interests with those of 
Athens naturally tended to make them seek her friend- 
ship. These ought to be supported and encouraged in 
their friendly sentiments, or they would immediately go 
over to the enemy. If Sparta allied herself with Thebes, 
why should not Athens ally herself with Argos ? The 
envoys of Sparta found themselves obliged to depart in 
shame and disgrace ; and, after Nicias had used every 
endeavor both at Athens and at Sparta to prevent such a 
proceeding, a treaty and alliance in arms was concluded 
for the term of one hundred years, by Athens on the one 
side, and by Argos, Mantinea, and Elis on the other.* 
Athens now stood at the head of the Peloponnesian sepa- 
rate league ; and the destinies of the city lay in the hands 
of Alcibiades. 

He had no intention of delaying to a 
subsequent occasion the harvest to be D * Iostlhties in 

^ _ < Peloponnesus. 

reaped from these advantages ; he wished it 01. xc. 2. (b.c. 
to become clear at once, how Athens had ummer " 

now gained a new and promising scene for 
her undertakings : the treaties of peace were not 
indeed revoked, but practically the war recommenced with 
the summer of B.C. 419 (01. xc. 1-2). Alcibiades was 
general, and under his command the quadruple alliance 
took the field as a military power ; and a Peloponnesian 
war, in the proper sense of the word, commenced. For 
the intention was to secure Arcadia, in order thus to form 
a junction between Argos and Elis, and to isolate Sparta 
in the south, as had been done once before in ancient 
times by the Argive Phidon (vol. i. p. 273) : as in those 
days by the Pisatse, so now by the Eleans, was Sparta 

* Thuc. v. 46 sq. 

308 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

excluded from the Olympic festivals. On the other hand, 
the operations of the allies were also directed against 
Corinth, which under existing circumstances had of course 
withdrawn from the separate alliance. For obtaining 
new bases of support for the Attic power on the Corinthian 
Sea no country was better adapted than Achaia. Here 
Alcibiades entered into negotiations with the citizens of 
Patrs3, which were productive of most important conse- 
quences, and induced them to join the Attic alliance, and 
at the same time to connect their city with the sea by 
means of long walls, so as to be always protected against 
Sparta and within reach of Attic aid.* Thus a chain of 
Attic military stations reached across from Naupactus as 
far as the Ionian Islands. Finally, an attempt was made 
to bring about the defection of the city of Epidaurus 
(which lay in the straight route between Argos and 
Athens) from the Spartans, to whom this city adhered 
with special loyalty, on account of her hatred against the 
other two states, and on account of her own aristocratic 
constitution/^ The execution of this scheme, however, 
like that of all others which were in the main in the 
hands of the Argives, halted to some extent ; and even 
Alcibiades, notwithstanding the influence now wielded by 
him, was unable to persuade the Athenians to declare the 
treaties at an end. They found it more convenient to 
allow them to continue nominally in force ; and contented 
themselves with adding to the document of the treaty at 
Olympia the statement, that Sparta had broken that 

* lb. 52 ; Curtius, Peloponn. i. 437. 

•{- Thue. v. 56. To the Epidaurian quarrel belongs the simple strata- 
gem (explained by Grote, vii. 66, Am. ed.) of the Argives, who, in order not 
to be prevented by the occurrence of Carneus, the month of the truce, 
inserted after the 26th of the preceding month as many days as they 
required for carrying on the war. 

J Clause added to the instrument of the peace at Olympia: "Snowt 
iyeiJ.ei.vav oi A. toi? ipKOis." — ThuC. V. 56. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 309 

For this irresolution the Athenians met 
with a sufficiently heavy punishment. For, f / t r ^ lution 
while Athens contented herself with mere 
half-measures, Sparta roused her energies, and employed 
the winter in chastising Argos with all her might, in 
relieving Epidaurus, and in preventing the imminent 
annihilation of the Spartan power in Peloponnesus. An 
attack upon Argos now amounted to a declaration of war 
against Athens ; and yet in the latter city the parties dis- 
puted with one another as to the expediency of sending 
aid : and, although the war party had gained the day, a 
measure was taken involving a twofold mistake. Not 
only was so small a number of men sent that nothing of 
importance could be effected with them ; but they were 
not even placed under the command of Alcibiades, who 
was merely sent across in the character of envoy to use 
his influence with the allies. Thus measures were adopted 
certain to irritate Sparta in the highest degree, and in a 
quarter where she could not do otherwise than concentrate 
all the resources of her state in her defence ; and yet the 
Athenians could not make up their minds, to intervene in 
Peloponnesian affairs with determined energy. Their 
conduct amounted to a lamentable combination of two 
mutually irreconcilable political tendencies ; for they 
thought themselves able to save the comforts of peace, 
and at the same time to conquer Peloponnesus by the 

This irresolute and short-sighted policy 
met with its due reward. At first, indeed, Battle of 

, • /» l * i • i Mantinea. 01. 

the operations ot the Athenians progressed X c.3. (b.c. 418.) 
with rapidity, *. e., in so far as Alcibiades 
exercised any influence upon them. Argos was forced 
immediately to revoke a truce concluded with Sparta ; 
whereupon the troops of the allies entered Arcadia, took 
the lofty citadel of Orchomenus, one of the strategical 
bases of the Spartan power, and marched before Tegea. 

310 History of Greece. [ b °ok iv. 

But already the army was weakening itself by internal 
discord ; for the Eleans were dissatisfied to find that the 
first and foremost object was not to expel the Spartans 
from Lepreum ; and accordingly departed home with 
3,000 heavy-armed troops at the very moment of the 
greatest dangers, when the Spartans marched out under 
King Agis with five-sixths of their entire army, eager to 
chastise Argos for her faithlessness, and to restore the 
Spartan authority in Arcadia. The allies retreated out 
of Tegeatis into the territory of Mantinea, and there 
occupied the heights, which were so strong as to oblige 
Agis to relinquish an attack already begun by him. He 
resorted in its stead to another stratagem, frequently 
employed on previous occasions by the Tegeatse in their 
border-feuds ; viz., he diverted the brook Ophis, which 
flowed from the territory of the one city into that of the 
other, out of its natural course, into one where it 
threatened the fields of the Mantineans, who occupied the 
lowest part of the plain common to the two cities, with a 
general inundation. The consequence was, that it became 
impossible to restrain the Mantineans from descending 
from the heights ; all opposition on the part of the gen- 
erals was futile ; and to his surprise Agis next morning 
saw his desire fulfilled, and the enemy drawn up before 
him in order of battle in the plain. The departure of 
the Eleans had given him the superiority in numbers, and' 
moreover the advantage of standing at the head of a 
body of troops united by the same military discipline and 
exercises. He conducted the battle with extreme bravery 
and with the commanding intelligence of a general ; and 
soon the whole breadth of the line of battle was hotly 
engaged. Agis overthrew the enemy's centre, composed 
of the Argives, and then with extreme presence of mind 
hastened to the assistance of his left wing, which had been 
already beaten. The Mantineans, who had here been vie 
torious, were now also obliged to fly the field amidst the 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 311 

heaviest losses. It was a victory of the greatest import- 
ance, because it suddenly once more brought into clear 
relief the superiority of the Spartan arms, as well as the 
internal weakness of the separate league. The Argives, 
who were to form its main strength, had not even been 
able to await the advance of the enemy's lances ; how 
hollow and vain, then, must have appeared their claim to 
dispute the hegemony with Sparta ! 

It was in Argos itself that the effects of 
the battle of Mantinea first made them- its conse- 

selves critically felt. The democratic party and elsewhere. 
was utterly discouraged, while its opponents, 
who had always opposed the policy of Alcibiades, opened 
communications with Sparta, in order to raise themselves 
into power with her aid. The band of the One Thousand 
(j>. 267), who alone among the Argives had done the ; r 
duty in the battle, formed the main focus of these aristo- 
cratic intrigues: accordingly, when the Spartans in the 
winter sent envoys to offer peace and an alliance, and at 
the same time threatened with the approach of an army 
which had already advanced as far as Tegea, the partisans 
of Sparta succeeded, notwithstanding the presence of 
Alcibiades, in inducing the citizens to accept the offers of 
peace. An exchange of hostages and prisoners took 
place; the Argives ceased to commit acts of hostility 
against Epidaurus ; all attacks upon Peloponnesus were 
henceforth to be resisted by combined efforts, while in 
other respects the states were to govern themselves accord- 
ing to their own choice. This was the first victory 
obtained by the aristocrats. Soon afterwards they further 
succeeded in bringing about the complete dissolution of 
the Attic alliance, and in concluding in its place a fifty 
years' peace with Sparta, on terms dealing in a veiy con- 
ciliatory spirit with the claims of the Argives, a position 
nominally equal to that of Sparta being conceded to them 
at the head of the Peloponnesian confederation. Simul* 

312 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

taneously an attitude of hostility was without delay 
assumed towards Athens ; combined embassies of Argives 
and Spartans went to the Thracian coasts, where they 
opened negotiations with the revolted cities, induced 
Perdiccas to renounce his friendship with Athens, and 
called upon the Athenians to evacuate Epidaurns, which 
still contained Attic and Peloponnesian troops, the last 
remains of an army of the separate league. Finally, a 
reaction also ensued in several Peloponnesian states, due 
either to the agency of force, or to circumstances special 
to each particular case. Mantinea again relapsed into 
her former insignificant position of subordination to 
Sparta ; in Sicyon an army, furnished jointly by the mem- 
bers of the re-established confederation, overthrew the 
constitutional government (accused of a democratic ten- 
dency) ; and at last — and this had evidently been the 
ultimate object of these preparatory steps — a counter- 
revolution of a similar character took place in Argos 
itself, the sanguinary violence of which before the end of 
the same winter placed the entire government of the state 
in the hands of the oligarchic party, to which the heads 
of the One Thousand belonged. It had been long since 
the influence of Sparta had held so absolute a sway over 
the peninsula; with the exception of Elis, who was 
allowed to nurse her anger undisturbed, all the states were 
united by the two bonds of the confederation, and of 
similarity of constitutions. Even in Achaia these were 
now changed, in conformity with the wishes of Sparta, in 
order to take away from the cities the possibility of fol- 
lowing the example of the Patrseans (p. 308).* 

These momentous results of the victory 

Increase of f Mantinea could not but exercise a re- 

Athens? 6 mS & action upon Athens herself. The peace 

party eagerly endeavored to turn to a good 

* Battle of Mantinea, Thuc.v. 63 — 74; its consequences, ib. 76 — 79. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 313 

account for their purposes the pitiable failure of the 
boastful schemes of Alcibiades. Was it not now, they 
asked, clear to every man : that Sparta was not, as she 
had been thought to be, a power on the eve of her down- 
fall ? and, on the other hand, what was the real value of 
the new allies of whom so much had been expected? and 
that this kind of thoughtless policy, devoid alike of 
object and of measure, must inevitably bring ruin upon 
the state? Alcibiades was in return justified in affirming 
that the blame of this failure should attach, not to his 
counsels, but to the want of resolution displayed by the 
Athenians. If they, after being betrayed by Sparta, and 
while living in the midst of war, wished their dreamy 
confidence in peace to continue at the same time — if, after 
obtaining new allies in the heart of Peloponnesus and 
instigating them to make war, they failed to support 
these with all their strength, how could they marvel if all 
the advantages in their hands changed into the reverse? 
They must decide as to which alternative they would 
adopt. It might be a matter of doubt, whether Nicias 
or Alcibiades was in the right ; but there could be no 
doubt whatever as to the fact, that a course of political 
action oscillating between the two must, under all circum- 
stances, prove pernicious. Either a serious attempt ought 
to be made to effect a good understanding with Sparta, or 
the war ought to be resumed earnestly and energetically. 
In this conjuncture it was very natural that resort was 
had to the ancient and proved expedient of ostracism 
which had formerly decided between Aristides and The- 
mistocles, and between Pericles and Thucydides, and had 
thus happily rescued the State from the dangers of the 
keenest party feuds. It amounted to a mutual challenge 
between Nicias and Alcibiades, when (probably in conse- 
quence of an arrangement preconcerted between the two 
statesmen) it was proposed that the full assembly of the 

citizens should judge between them. One of the two was 

314 History of Greece. [Book I v. 

to quit the city, after which the government of Athens 
might be once more conducted on definite principles 
and with ascertained ends. Besides Nicias and Alci- 
biades, Phseax the son of Erasistratus, who had been 
employed in public embassies (p. 282), and who also 
sought to acquire influence as a popular orator, came 
forward in the party struggle. He stood on the side of 
Nicias, and as one of the leaders of the aristocratic 
party was with him involved in the question of os- 

While the preliminary steps were being 
Hyporboius! 0°i. taken for arriving at this important decision, 
xc. 4. (b.c. 417.) and the two leaders were busily occupied in 
mustering and strengthening the ranks of 
their adherents, Hyperbolus unexpectedly succeeded in 
again attracting public attention on the orators' tribune, 
by exciting the citizens through insolent attacks upon both 
Nicias and Alcibiades. And since, as it appears, neither 
of the two had full confidence in the issue of the vote, 
and since it could not answer the purpose of either to oust 
his rival by a small majority — and since, finally, the in- 
troduction into the question of secondary personages, such 
as Phreax, had made the situation of affairs difficult and 
unintelligible : both parties at the last hour combined to 
turn the popular vote (inasmuch as the preliminary mea- 
sures for it had once been taken) against Hyperbolus, who 
was now driven into exile. Thus the day which was to 
decide the destinies of Athens brought with it no decision 
of any kind ; and, most unfortunately for the city, things 
remained in statu quo. And the misfortune was doubly 
great, because, owing to the fact that an unworthy and 
insignificant personage was banished by ostracism, the 
latter process itself fell into disrepute for all future times, 
and was never again employed. But this result is again 
connected with the circumstance that ostracism, which 
formed so essential a part of the constitutional life of 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 315 

Athens, and which had contributed so largely to a vigorous 
development of the state, presumed a healthy condition 
of political activity such as no longer existed. The com- 
monwealth lacked the requisite vigor for eliminating by a 
legal process the elements which operated as preventive 
and obstructive agents; the people was devoid of inner 
unity, and of an earnest and clear knowledge of its 
own interests, and was thus unable to decide by a consi- 
derable majority in favor of any one political tendency ; 
nor was any statesman in existence upon whom the popu- 
lar confidence was in full measure bestowed. Finally 
under existing circumstances, the banishment of a 
powerful party leader might have brought new, and yet 
more serious, dangers upon the state. For it could not be 
expected of an Alcibiades that he would, in obedience to 
a popular vote, reside tranquilly abroad for the space of 
five years ; and it was naturally feared that he might be 
immediately driven into the enemy's camp. Thus the 
party leaders might prove incomparably more dangerous 
to Athens away from the city, than within its walls. It 
accordingly seemed both more convenient and safer to re- 
tain both the statesmen, who were to hold the balance to 
one another. But the day of this decision was in truth an 
ill-omened day for Athens, and the decision itself a gloomy 
sign of the decay of public life and a precursor of evil times.* 

Of the two statesmen who now again re- 
sumed their party conflict, Alcibiades was, increase of the 

. influence of Al- 

as may be supposed, the more active and cibiades. 

energetic. He soon contrived to convince 

• In the date of the last instance of ostracism (the institution was never 
abolished by law) I have followed Cobet's (Plat. Com. Eel. p. 143) 
elucidation of Theopompus in the Schol. and Ar. Vesp. 1042, according to 
which Hyperbolus, who died B.C. 411, lived six years in exile. — Vischer, 
Alk. u. Lysandros, p. 67. Generally these names were placed on the list 
(as to Phaeax, see Meier, Opusc. i. 145 ; Buttner, Hetarien, p. 61) ; the 
fact that action was taken against none of the three of itself amounted to 
a violation of traditionary usage. 

316 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

the citizens that the recent successes of Sparta, which had 
been urged as arguments to humiliate himself, were not of 
a permanent character. Between Argos and Sparta a 
sincere relation of mutual good-will was as impossible as 
between Athens and Sparta. Furthermore, at Argos the 
opposite parties confronted one another full of savage 
hatred, ready at any moment for a renewal of hostilities. 
The word for their resumption was given by Bryas, the 
leader of the One Thousand, who, by an act of base 
violence, disturbed the celebration of a civic wedding. 
The bride ravished by him avenged herself by putting 
out his eyes while he was asleep, and then sought 
the protection of the people, who rose in a body 
against the military insolence of the oligarchs, and 
overthrew the system of government supported by 
Sparta after it had lasted no longer than eight 

The Argives now stood once more in need 
between Athens °^ a ^ ^ rom tne Athenians, in order to be 
and Argos. oi. able to niaiu tain themselves against Sparta 
417.) and the expelled oligarchs ; envoys were 

sent to Athens, and Alcibiades hereupon 
honestly exerted himself to knit the bonds of the alliance 
closer. With the help of a body of Attic artisans he 
personally superintended the building of the long walls, 
by which the Argives were for all times, as it were, to in- 
corporate themselves with the island and coast-empire of 
Athens : for a city encircled together with its seaport by 
walls was still as impregnable as an island against any 
Spartan attack. The Spartans invaded the country and 
destroyed part of the harbor walls, but were unable to 
take the city itself. In order to prevent another revolt, 
Alcibiades hereupon caused three hundred citizens, who 
were known to favor the Spartans, to be carried aboard 
the Attic ships and placed under arrest on the islands. 
Thus Argos was in the summer of B.C. 417 (01. xc. 4) 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 317 

attached more closely than ever to Athens, and the former 
allies of the Argives began to revive from the effects of 
the terror inspired by the defeat at Mantinea.* 

It is easy to understand why this indirect war against 
Sparta assumed a far more invidious and malignant cha- 
racter than would have belonged to a campaign of the 
two adversaries carried on by open and honest war. For 
now, when the popular feeling against Sparta was more 
bitter, and the war party more active than ever before, 
while the latter was still unable to bring about a declara- 
tion putting an end to the treaties, opportunities were 
eagerly sought in every direction to damage the Spartans 
at as sensitive a point as possible, in spite of the treaties. 
Accordingly, the popular desire for war was allowed to 
vent itself upon states of lesser importance, which were 
connected with Sparta, but had actually done nothing to 
provoke the vengeance of Athens. The relentless harsh- 
ness with which the Athenians actually carried out such 
undertakings is shown in the instance of the expedition 
against Melos in the ensuing year. 

Melos is one of the volcanic islands lying 

_._.., , Athenian ex- 

to the south ox the Cyclades group on the pedition against 

confines of the Cretan sea. Seven centuries Melos. 01. xci. 

1. (b.c. 416.) 

ago Dorian settlers from Peloponnesus had 
occupied Melos, which regarded itself as a daughter-city 
of Sparta, and adhered with unalterable loyalty to the 
Peloponnesian confederation. It was extremely natural 
for the Athenians to wish to include this island in the 
number of their allies : for by its situation it belonged to 
the maritime dominion of Athens. The more remote 
island of Thera, which stood in the most intimate relations 
to Sparta, had during the Peloponnesian war submitted to 
Athens, as had her proud neighbor Rhodes, with her three 
Doric cities. Of all the larger islands Melos lay nearest 

* Alliance with Argos . Thuc. v. 82. Bryas : Paus. ii. 20, 2. Double 
walls : Curtius, Peloponnesus, ii. 384. 

318 History of Greece. [ b °ok IV. 

to the Peloponnesian coast, and was moreover, as it were, 
marked out by nature as a station for the Athenian navy, 
by a harbor retreating into the island in lines of great 
breadth and depth. Accordingly, Nicias had already 
several years before made an attempt upon the island 
(p. 136) ; the failure of which attempt had increased at 
Athens the feeling of irritation against the Melians. 
Since the Athenians had commenced their Peloponnesian 
expedition, this island assumed a double importance in 
their eyes. To these motives were added the instigations 
of the other islanders, who were vexed to see their neigh- 
bors permitted to live free from all tributes and burdens 
and in conformity with the laws of their fathers. More- 
over, it was the interest of the Athenians, not to allow 
their navy to lie idle, but from time to time to prove 
to the Greek world that it was in their power to fill 
up the gaps in the line of their dominion, and to 
enlarge it according to their liking ; for which purpose 
opportunities must be sought out if these failed sponta- 
neously to offer themselves. The prospect of being able 
to offer new distributions of land to the citizens was also 
sufficiently tempting ; but the main motive was the desire 
of damaging the Spartans in the persons of the Doric 
islanders, and of avenging the defeat at Mantinea and 
settling older scores — in particular that of the destruction 
of Platsese. 

For it cannot be denied that the expedition against 
Melos greatly resembled that of the Spartans against 
Platsese. In either case, a Greek state is suddenly 
attacked, in order to oblige it by superior force of arms 
to pass out of ancient and historically well-founded federal 
relations into new ; in other words, groundlessly to bring 
upon itself the enmity of its ancient friends and convert 
them into enemies. The only difference was this : that 
the Athenians scorned to shelter their conduct behind 
such pretences as the false boast of a national policy, 

Cuap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 319 

which the Spartans were in the habit of putting forward, 
and openly avowed the principles, in accordance with 
which they were obliged to call upon the Melians to 
submit. Specious phrases were the less necessary in this 
case, inasmuch as the Attic generals had to deal, not with 
a popular community, but with a council conducting the 
affairs of state. They curtly refused to enter into any 
discussion as to the question of right; for such a one they 
declared to be appropriate only in cases where equal 
powers were opposed to one another. In the present 
instance, they declared the only question to be as to what 
was most expedient at the present moment for either state. 
" Our interest," said the Attic general, " is to strengthen 
our naval power ; yours to preserve your commonwealth 
and your prosperity. The only mode of reconciling these 
interests is by your voluntarily submitting and paying 
tribute like the neighboring islands. The neutrality 
which you offer is insufficient for our object ; any compact 
with you would only cast doubts upon our power in the 
eyes of the other Greeks. Your hope of aid from Sparta 
is futile ; and your appeal to the gods, as avengers of 
injustice, is equally groundless. For the gods, as well as 
mankind, acknowledge the eternal law : that those are the 
masters who have the power, and that the weak must 
obey. You adhere to the side of the Spartans, but, as a 
matter of fact, the Spartans are least of all among the 
number of those who decide as to what is right and just 
according to any other standard, and if you were your- 
selves in possession of the necessary power, neither would 
you speak nor act otherwise." Thus the Athenians 
unblushingly asserted the right of the stronger, attempting 
to justify it by means of a heartless sophism. 
They desired immediate submission on 
the part of Melos, any attempt at resistance Fal1 of Meios. 
being regarded as an inroad upon the 416.) ' 
omnipotence of Athens by sea. For this 

320 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

reason they were wroth at the obstinate courage of the 
islanders, who broke off all further negotiations, and thus 
made it necessary for the Athenians to commence a costly 
circumvallation of the city. The Melians even succeeded 
on two successive occasions in breaking through part of 
the wall built round them by the enemy, and obtaining 
fresh supplies ; but no relief arrived ; and they had to 
undergo sufferings which made the " Melian famine " a 
proverbial phrase to express the height of misery ; and 
before the winter ended the island was forced to surrender 
unconditionally to Philocrates, who arrived with a fresh 
army. There was no question of quarter. All the 
islanders capable of bearing arms who had fallen into the 
hands of the Athenians were sentenced to death, and all 
the women and children to slavery. The Athenians had 
nothing less in their minds than to take vengeance for the 
bloody acts of Sparta, and to spread fear and terror in all 
the regions which could be reached by the Athenian navy. 
So relentless a policy of violence corresponded to the 
ideas of Alcibiades, and it had been he who had advo- 
cated the application of the utmost severity. * 

But it could not satisfy the ambition of 
Farther an Alcibiades, to have asserted his influence 

schemes of Alci- - , . « , . , , , , 

biades. alter this iasnion ; he looked around for 

other theatres of war than Peloponnesus 
and the Archipelago. For as the hateful peace with 
Sparta seemed to survive all attempts at putting an end 
to it, he felt the need of enterprises which should lead the 
state into courses hitherto unattempted, and extend the 
dominion of Athens beyond the limits hitherto assigned 
to it. These enterprises would necessarily be of such a 
nature, that the command in them could be entrusted to 
none but the boldest spirits, and that their successful exe* 

* For the last fact, see B'ahr ad Plut. Ale. 15; Hertzberg, Alk. p. 117« 
Expedition against Melos: Thuc. v. 84 — 116. 

Chap. IV] To the End of the Sicilian War. 321 

cation must raise the victorious commander to a position 
towering far above that of an ordinary Athenian citizen. 
For in proportion as the foreign relations of the state 
were extended and the limits of its dominion enlarged, it 
would become less aud less possible for that state to be 
governed by the civic assembly on the Pnyx, and the per- 
sonal rule of a single individual would at last be a simple 
matter of necessity. While Alcibiades was full of such 
thoughts, the envoys of the Egestaeans arrived with their 
prayer for aid (p. 283) ; and the theatre of war for which 
he was longing was suddenly found. 

The Sicilian question was no novel theme. 
Athens, ever eager for war, had long The Sicilian 
glanced across to the western shores, and vious times, 
already at the time when Corcyra was 
admitted into the Attic alliance, many regarded that 
island merely as the threshold of Sicily. In the time of 
Pericles such ideas had not been allowed to assert them- 
selves; for his prescient sagacity recognized all the 
dangers which would result to Athens from a policy of 
conquest ; he saw the distinguishing mark of a Hellenic 
state in its capability of moderating its course, and not, 
like the states of the barbarians, allowing itself to be 
mechanically driven forward by the momentum of its own 
power, till in the end it became the victim of its own 
ambition. Therefore he had severely and vigorously sup- 
pressed all such longings on the part of the Athenians. 
But after his death things changed; for the community 
was by itself incapable of exercising wise self-restraint. 
To possess an unrivalled power, without applying it to 
whatever extent opportunity made possible — this could 
not be expected of the Attic people ; the less so, since the 
demagogues were constantly busy to raise its conscious 
pride to measureless height, and hold up before its eyes 
the temptations of new schemes and plans. 


322 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

These plans were the more dangerous, in 
Schemes of con- proportion as their objects were uncertain. 

quest in Sicily 1 . 

and beyond. * or all knew by experience the difficulties 
presented to the Athenians by the wars 
with Bceotia and Sparta. But a distant country beyond 
the sea, known to few, and for that very reason capable of 
being represented in colors of all the brighter brilliancy— 
an island-country, too, whither the worst enemies of the 
Athenians could not follow them, and where their uncon- 
quered navy was alone to decide the issue — such a country 
could not but present unwonted attractions to them, especial- 
ly as they were equally disinclined to sit still and renew the 
former war in the same way. But to enjoy at home all 
the advantages of peace, and at the same time to receive 
brilliant tidings of victory from the distant west, seemed 
to the Atheuians the most enviable of lots. And might 
they not, in point of fact, assure themselves of the most 
successful result ? No navy existed in those waters which 
could prove a match for the Attic. The power of 
the Tyrrhenians had been broken (p. 239) ; the Cartha- 
ginians no longer ventured to advance with their fleet ; 
their own allies could not count upon their support, and 
had for this very reason been forced to apply for aid to 
Athens. Furthermore, in the case of a war against 
Syracuse, the Athenians might look for support, rather 
than for resistance, from both Carthage and the Tyrrhe- 
nians. The Siceliotes themselves were so powerless by sea 
that Leaches' squadron of twenty ships had been able to 
command their waters (p. 277). Again, the Leontiuian 
war had progressed successfully, and though its results had 
^been suddenly rendered fruitless by the peace of Gela, yet 
it was sufficiently evident that this peace was utterly un- 
tenable ; nor could it be expected that the weaker states 
would again and again allow themselves to be deluded by 
the tranquillizing assurances of the Syracusans. Syracuse 
was by its very nature a state which could not but con- 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 323 

tinually return to its old policy of conquest. Possibly, 
nay probably, a third Greek great power was here arising 
which, in a general Hellenic war, might serve to ruin 
Athens. Thus a timely intervention might in this instance 
be regarded in the light of a wise and provident policy. 
After all, it was said, there existed at present no other 
purpose upon which to employ the navy. The power of 
Athens was consuming itself in idleness ; to do nothing 
was equivalent to retrogression. The honor of Athens 
demanded the resumption of the policy formerly pursued 
in Sicily. If the city displayed a want of spirit, not only 
an increase of insolence on the part of the Syracusans, but 
a fresh interference on the part of Carthage was to be ap- 
prehended. It was the vocation of Athens to be the 
champion of the Ionic race in the West as well as in the 
East. These arguments were reinforced by the seductive 
idea of the chance of conquering the Doric race here, 
where it had attained its most brilliant development ; of 
humiliating Corinth in the daughter-city in which she 
took the greatest pride ; in depriving the Spartans of all 
hope of future assistance from that quarter ; and in grad- 
ually isolating Peloponnesus. At the same time it was 
hoped to open up the richest sources of material wealth to 
Atheus ; the soil of Sicily, fertile in many products, might 
become a possession of inestimable value to the Athenians, 
by means of its corn, horses, &c. ; and, as all the advan- 
tages of the island, as well as the facility of success, were 
described to the people in brilliant speeches by the envoys — 
as the Egestseans offered very considerable subsidies, thus 
making it appear possible to gain all these advantages by 
other men's money — it naturally followed that the credu- 
lous multitude, to whom the undertaking was represented 
in no other except its favorable aspects, was carried away 
to such a degree as to have all its thoughts full of these 
Utopian pictures. No other subject but this was discussed 
in the gymnasia and cloistered halls around the market, 

324 History of Greece. [ EooK IV - 

in all the taverns and booths ; here and there might be 
seen a figure of the Trinacrian island drawn in the sand, 
and surrounded and eagerly discussed by dense groups ; 
Dodonsean oracles were dragged to light, which were sup- 
posed to approve of the undertaking; the name Sikelia 
exercised a magic charm in the ears of the Athenians ; 
and after once imagining Mount iEtna included in the 
territory of the Attic alliance, they were not content even 
with this. An expedition to Carthage had been urged by 
senseless demagogues as early as the time of Pericles : at 
the present moment Libya and Italy were regarded as the 
first and indubitable objects of conquest ; nay, an Attic 
empire was dreamt of, extending from the Lycian waters 
and the shores of the Pontus as far as the pillars of Her- 

But there were some in Athens who re- 

oflhesSemel! sisted the transport of these dreams. There 
was no lack of cool-headed and reflecting 
citizens, whom the new schemes filled with fear and 
anxiety. Hitherto the power of Athens had advanced 
step by step in the Archipelago and the neighboring 
waters ; and even the inclusion, within the limits of her 
alliance, of the islands of the Ionian Sea, which had taken 
place in the course of the war, appeared, so to speak, to 
have been demanded by the circumstances of the times, as 
a necessary security for Athens against the maritime 
states of Peloponnesus. But at this point a natural limit 
had been reached, and it seemed to amount to an act of 
foolish temerity to attempt to pass this limit, and to pursue 
aimless schemes of conquest beyond it. The state of 
affairs beyond the sea was so little known in detail, that 
it was impossible to form strategical plans and to judge 

* Boeekh, P. E. p. 291 (E. Tr.). As to the false interpretation put by 
the Athenians upon the Dodonuean oracle SiKeXtav ouci^eu/, vid. Paus. 
viii. 11, 12. Cf. as to the Hill Sicelia, near Athens, the author's Es^ay 
in Rhein, Mus. N. F. viii. 133. 

Chap, iv.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 325 

of the success likely to attend upon military and naval 
operations with regard to these regions. At least, 
however, this was known : that Sicily was not an 
island to be conquered at one blow, but a small con- 
tinent, with many cities which would have to be besieged 
one after the other, which it would be difficult to 
reduce to submission, and yet more difficult to keep 
in subjection. How could Athens govern a province 
from which she was so far separated by a sea devoid 
of islands, that in the winter season three or four 
months might pass by before a messenger arrived 
thence ? 

Athens had reached a critical epoch in 
her history. To this fact all her citizens fi naQ °iai condi- 
were alive ; it was a question affecting her tion of Athens, 
most vital interests, and the answer to 
which must decide the whole future of the city. Accord- 
ingly, all the conflicting forces in the community were 
brought into action and raised to the highest degree of 
tension. On the two opposite sides were respectively 
v anged those who owned property and those who owned 
none, young Athens and the older generation, mariners 
and husbandmen, the friends and the foes of the demo- 
cracy. The numbers of the poor had increased in the 
course of the war ; their mouths watered at the thought 
of new revenues of state being distributed, of a rise in 
the rates of public pay, and of new allotments of land. 
They felt a thorough aversion from Thracian campaigns, 
which certainly ought to have been their first care, 
because in this case none but the dark sides of war were 
brought before their eyes. On Sicily they placed the 
highest hopes, while contrasting the meagre poverty of 
their own lives with the splendor and prosperity said to 
prevail in the Sicilian towns. The men of property, on 
the other hand, were afraid of being subjected to new and 
increased burdens ; they had hoped to be able to restore 

326 History of Greece. C BooK IV - 

order to their pecuniary affairs in the time of peace ; for 
only the very rich, whose number was extremely small, 
could without personal inconvenience satisfy the demands 
of the state ; most of them suffered under these demands 
and longed for relief, the more so because they earned but 
little gratitude in return for all their sacrifices, and failed 
to enjoy in the state the authority which they were 
justified in claiming, since upon them was based the power 
of Athens, the strength of her navy and army, as well as 
the splendor of the city, which manifested itself in 
festivals and dramatic performances. These tax-paying 
citizens calculated gain and loss, and reflected upon the 
chances of success and failure, thus distinguishing them- 
selves from those who had nothing to lose, and might have 
something to gain, — and who accordingly welcomed all 
new schemes of war. Finally, among the more thought- 
ful citizens, regard was paid to the finances of the state as 
the point of view from which its foreign policy ought to 
be regulated. The public treasury had been utterly ex- 
hausted by the ten years of war, and with it the real 
source of the Attic power dried up. Since the conclusion 
of the peace, moneys had been again brought into the 
citadel, to the amount of one thousand talents, or there- 
abouts, annually. A new treasure was accumulating, and 
order was beginning to return into the Attic finances. 
But a new war would utterly destroy these favorable 
prospects, before Athens had collected the pecuniary 
resources requisite for entering, without resorting to new 
loans and war taxes, upon so vast an undertaking, the 
costs of which were utterly incalculable.* 

Thus there existed, indeed, forces counteracting in some 
degree the measureless movement among the people, nor 

* Thuc vi. 26 : aeeiAj^ei 17 7r6Ais iavrtjv . . . . es XP 1 )M<* TW,/ aBpourtv. To 
this I formerly referred the inscr. in Boeckh, P. E. p. 291, note [E. Tr.] ; 
but see above, note to vol. ii. p. 580. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 327 

were voices wanting to exhort and to warn. But their 
influence was paralyzed by the fact, that the true reasons 
of their resistance could not be strongly urged, as they 
were invariably ascribed to selfish fears on the part of the 
rich. Herein lay the old weakness of the peace party, 
which still followed the leadership of Nicias. As long as 
public opinion was in favor of peace, and a general 
lassitude prevailed, that party might obtain a few suc- 
cesses, but it was unable to establish an influence capable 
of guiding the citizens in disturbed times as well. And 
recently the peace party had lost authority, because the 
peace which had been concluded by their exertions proved 
itself less tenable from day to day. By using their 
utmost endeavors, notwithstanding, for the purpose of at 
all events deferring as long as possible an open rupture 
with Sparta, they had against their will greatly helped to 
direct the warlike thoughts of the Athenians towards en- 
tirely new undertakings. 

All these circumstances were to the 
advantage of the man who at this critical ^ldbhide" a f t 
moment stood at the head of the movement, Athens. 
and who used every exertion to induce 
Athens to unfold her whole power, unhesitatingly to take 
advantage of every favorable conjuncture of circumstances, 
and to advance with her sails full set. 

Alcibiades at that time stood in the full flower of his 
manhood. His influence was not, like that of Nicias, 
based upon the circumstance that a certain part of the 
population had chosen him as leader ; but his authority 
was, like that of Pericles, a personal authority, and rested 
upon numerous gifts by which nature had qualified him 
for a position of command. He stood among his fellow- 
citizens with no other like unto him. The admiration and 
affection of the Athenians attached themselves to one 
whose figure brilliantly reflected their own character, and 
from him, the Invincible, they hoped for a new era of 

328 History of Greece. [Book IV 

good fortune, for new revenues, new allotments of land s 
new treasures from Sicily and Libya ; and now, as at no 
previous period, it was thought Athens ought to display 
her whole strength and develop all her powers. No 
Athenian had ever enjoyed so enthusiastic a popularity as 

Furthermore, Alcibiades also possessed a definite num- 
ber of followers who were always at hand to help him in 
the execution of his designs ; young men of adventurous 
spirit, among them doubtless a few whom a sincere recog- 
nition of extraordinary gifts attached to his person — 
patriotic spirits, who looked for the greatest deeds from 
him, and wished to aid in their execution. Such a one 
was, e. g. y Eurytolemus.* The majority of his adherents, 
however, consisted of men who were united to him by 
common banquetings and debaucheries, and who after 
wasting their patrimony lived on his bounty. They were 
accordingly his dependents, obeyed his slightest wishes, 
worked upon the people, kept it in a state of excitement, 
fostered the most extravagant hopes, and frightened the 
opposite party into silence. They were chiefly young men 
of rank, who were delighted to see a demagogue of their 
own class once more take the lead in affairs, instead of one 
of the common fellows, clamorers rather than orators, and 
capable only of seeking personal profit from the troubles 
of the times, without accomplishing any really great 
achievement — a man of high birth and distinguished bear- 
ing, instead of an artisan or trader. They constituted 
themselves the instruments of his ambition, hoping at the 
same time to derive a personal profit from his success. 

But the very circumstance that the whole 

His arrogance. ,. _ . , .. . , i • i •> 

authority 01 Alcibiades was derived trom 
his personal qualities also constituted bis weakness. For 
the safe guidance of others he lacked the moral dignity 

* Plut. Pericl. c. 7 ; Ale. c. 32. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 32b 

which alone is able to call forth real respect and lasting 
attachment. With all his brilliant advantages, Alcibiades 
was but a human being like the rest, and therefore incapa- 
ble of steadying and concentrating these natural gifts ; for 
he was unable to rely upon himself — a character full of 
inner contradictions, in which good and bad tendencies, 
unregulated by principle, kept up a continual conflict; 
and therefore, notwithstanding its acute intelligence, his 
mind failed to attain to clearness and distinctness of aim. 
Those who came to know him most intimately were least 
able to place confidence in him ; for at bottom he only 
sought to gratify himself and to pursue his own advantage. 
He prized Athens only as the theatre of his deeds ; 
the glory of his native city was to him only a step towards 
his own glory ; and his associates felt that he would only 
keep them by his side as long as they were serviceable to 
the schemes of his personal ambition. Therefore he was 
ill adapted to be the permanent leader of a party. And 
even beyond the circle of his more intimate associates he 
gave offence and caused irritation in all quarters. 

He had not learnt to master the Tyrannical nature 
dwelling in him, or even to conceal it. By the side of the 
most heroic bravery he displayed an effeminate love of 
luxury, such as became a Persian satrap rather than a 
citizen of Athens. Wherever he appeared, he wished the 
eyes of all to be turned exclusively on himself. He came 
to the market-place arrayed in long folds of purple ; even 
in battle he endeavoured to out-shine all the rest, bearing 
a shield made of gold and ivory, and surmounted by a god 
of love hurling lightning-bolts, as a crest, — an arrogant 
symbol of the irresistible charms of his person.* The 
people, as a body, he flattered after the manner of the 
demagogues, but individuals he treated with overbearing 
scorn. All contradiction irritated him to insolence and 

* "EpcD? Kepavvo</>dpo5, Plut. Ale. 0. 32. 

330 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

violence, as if his fellow-citizens had been his subjects. 
Agatharchus, the foremost scene-painter of Athens— the 
same whose art had beautified the stage of JEschylus (vol. 
ii. p. 578) — excuses himself for being prevented by other 
orders from complying with the wishes of Alcibiades; 
whereupon the latter shuts up the painter in his house 
and forces him to perform the desired task on the spot. 
Taureas, who attempts to dispute the prize of the best 
chorus with Alcibiades, is driven by the latter out of the 
theatre with blows in the presence of the assembled 
people ;* his wife, Hipparete, he carries forcibly back into 
his house upon her attempting to obtain a divorce before 
the archons ;f and he even dares, as public treasurer, to 
remove the festive vessels of gold from their place on the 
citadel, and to employ them for his private purposes.^ 
And all these insults against the public civil and sacred 
law he was allowed to commit with impunity, because the 
citizens had accustomed themselves to concede to him an 
exceptional and privileged position ; so that they them- 
selves bore a heavy share of the blame by encouraging m 
him the wild spirit of license which laughed at their laws,- 
and allowed it to grow into an uncontrollable habit. 

But the city of Athens was too narrow a 

His display. . _ , .,.,., , , 

sphere to sumce tor Alcibiades as the tneatre 
of his ambition. His wish was not merely to outshine all 
his fellow-citizens by the sums spent by him upon the 
urban festivals and upon the equipment of ships, but to 
make all Hellas the witness of his glory and splendor. 
With this view he revived the ancient traditions of the 
house to which he belonged by the mother's side. For, 
as its splendor had begun with the Olympic chariot- 
victory of Alcmseon, the contemporary of Solon ; so 
Alcibiades, as a genuine Alcmseonide, wished to tread the 

* Agatharchus and Taureas, Plut. Ale. c. 16. 
f Plut. Ale. c. 8 ; cf. Hertzberg, u. a. p. 126. 
t lb. c. 13. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 331 

same path of fame. For this purpose, however, he needed 
resources beyond those which his wasted patrimony offered 
to him : and he therefore sought to connect himself with 
the wealthiest of all Athenian families, that of the 
Daduchus Hipponicus (p. 82). Although he had com- 
mitted an act of impious insolence against this worthy 
man, he succeeded in obtaining the hand of his daughter, 
together with a dowry of ten talents (2,580/.) — a dowry 
such as had never previously fallen to the lot of any 
Athenian. He was at no pains to conceal the selfish 
motives which had actuated him in seeking this connection. 
For scarcely had he brought home his bride, Hipparete, 
with her gold (01. xc. 4 ; b. c. 416 circ.\ when he began 
to occupy himself on the grandest scale with the training 
of race-horses. He became owner of a stud admired alike 
by foreigners and natives, and in order to pay its expeuses 
managed to obtain a further sum of ten talents from his 
brother-in-law Callias, which Hipponicus was said to have 
promised to bestow upon him in the event of Hipparete 
giving birth to a boy. By such means as these he com- 
pletely accomplished his end. For he sent to Olympia 
not one, but seven racing chariots, and 
obtained not one, but three prizes at the Alci1 ? iades at 
same festival. A special significance at- 
tached at the present moment to this splendid display at 
Olympia. The messengers from Elis, who announced the 
date of the approachiug festival (vol. i. p. 250), had for 
the first time, after a long absence, come to Athens ; and 
after it had been believed in Peloponnesus that war and 
pestilence had broken the prosperity of the city, an Attic 
citizen was now seen to unfold a splendor such as no 
prince had ever displayed. Moreover, about the same 
time, Sparta was excluded from the Olympic festival ; and, 
during her quarrel with Sparta, Elis had to seek for 
another protector. Alcibiades being a patron of the 
eeparate league, and having been the means of bringing 

332 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

about the treaty between Argos and Athens, the authori- 
ties at Elis did everything to oblige him ; while on the 
other hand his display served to raise in an uncommon 
degree his influence in Peloponnesus, among a nation so 
susceptible to the impressions created by wealth as the 

At the same time, no man was equally master of the art 
of using other men's resources for his own purposes. For, 
as he had obtained access to the Olympic wreaths by 
means of the riches of Hipponicus, so he contrived to use 
his influence among the allies for the same objects. 
Lesbos sent him wine for the celebration of his victory, to 
which he invited all persons present at the festival ; Chios 
furnished the sacrificial victims and the fodder for the 
horses ; and the Ephesians erected him a gorgeous tent. 
Thus the cities emulated one another in conciliating the 
favor of the powerful demagogue ; and, since brilliant success 
in the breeding and training of studs and chariot-victories 
at Olympia were always regarded as a preliminary step 
towards the furtherance of Tyrannical schemes, Alcibiades 
at Olympia, in fact, already appeared in the light of a 
prince, calling in the tributes due to him, and concen- 
trating the splendor of his native city upon his person. 
The other festive localities of Greece were also witnesses 
of his glory ; and, in order to celebrate all these victories 
and to preserve their memory, he not only employed the 
art of the singers, but also availed himself of the services 
of all the other artists of Athens. He caused a painting to 
be made representing his coronation by Olympias and 
Pythias, and himself reposing, resplendent in luxuriant 
beauty, in the lap of Nemea. These creations of flattery 
he dedicated to the city goddess, and caused them to be 
placed in the Pinacothece (vol. ii. p. 637).* 

* As to the portraits of A. as victor, see Benndorf, Vasenbilder, p. 15. 
— "l7r7roTpo(/>ia : Hertzberg, u. a. p. 123. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 333 

Finally, the political tendency represented 

i_ a i »i • i i n i«i i • i His policy. 

by Alci blades was also of a kind which 
could not fail to provoke manifold opposition. His desire 
was, not only to put an end to the peace which it had re- 
quired exertions so laborious to bring about, and to renew 
the war in the previous fashion, but also to kindle a war 
of much wider extent, and with totally different means, 
than the most passionate demagogues before him had had 
in view. As the scope of all his schemes comprehended 
not merely Athens, but the whole of Greece, so he intended 
to be the omnipotent leader, not on the Attic Pnyx alone, 
but in Argos, in Mantinea, and in Elis. The liberation of 
the civic communities from all aristocratic influences was 
to constitute the leading principle of a general Hellenic 
policy, the threads of which were to be gathered together 
in his hand ; he intended to be the head of all the demo- 
cratic parties in Greece, and to unite them in a powerful 
alliance, to which Sparta and all the aristocratic states 
would in the end be forced to succumb. Thus the foreign 
as well as the domestic policy of the state now became a 
democratic policy, before which all other points of view 
receded into the background. The war became purely 
one of political ideas, and, instead of a conflict between 
states, one between parties, — a war which therefore could 
not otherwise than increase in extent and vehemence, and 
lose all definite objects or chance of settlement. Alcibiades 
wished to bring about a new era in Greece, which should 
make it impossible for such a state as Sparta to exist ; and 
of this general popular movement Athens was to be the 
focus. But for the same purpose it was necessary that the 
city should unfold all her resources, and heighten them as 
far as was feasible, — above all, her pecuniary resources. 
In this particular Alcibiades followed in the steps of the 
earlier demagogues, who had advocated an increase in the 
number of the tributary allies, and every possible mode of 
raising their contributions. But Alcibiades, in this matter 

334 History of Greece. [ b °ok IV. 

also, surpassed his predecessors in the inconsiderate vio- 
lence of his proposals ; he had taken a leading part in the 
proceedings against Melos ; and to his exertions it is said 
to have been owing that the sum total of the tributes, 
amounting under Pericles to 600 talents, about the present 
time finally rose as high as 1,300 (316,875/.). Advantage 
was taken of all indications of disloyalty for inflicting pe- 
cuniary penalties ; and those states on whose behalf, when 
they returned into the Attic alliance, Sparta had especially 
interested herself, were now, apparently by way of an in- 
sult to Sparta, treated with double severity. Accordingly, 
worse fears and more intolerable sufferings than ever pre- 
vailed on the islands and coasts ; their increasing oppres- 
sion is even said to have occasioned numerous instances of 
emigration to Italy ; and the part played by Alcibiades in 
the affairs of the allies is evident, if from nothing else, 
from the fact that cities such as Ephesus, Chios and Les- 
bos shrank from no sacrifice in order to conciliate his good- 
will, and thus to prevent the application of still stricter 
measures against them.* 

But, notwithstanding the height and ex- 

His i dvcrsuncs 

tent of the personal influence of Alcibiades, 
he was unable to acquire a power sufficiently permanent 
to tranquillize the state and to bring about a union among; 
the different parties. His influence only acted as an irri- 

* As to the increase of the tributes, see Boeckh, P. E. p. 400 [E. Tr.] , 
U. Kohler in Berl. Movatsber. 1865, p. 215, and 1869, pp. 154 sqq. As 
to the influence of Alcibiades in the matter, M. Meier, Opusc. i. 193. 
"With regard to the emigration to Italy, ib. p. 225. — The date of the mar- 
riage of Ale. (p. 550) is fixed by Isocr. de Bigis, c. 17, according to 
-which the son of Ale. must have been born in B.C. 416. In that 
case, however, Hipponicus cannot have himself given his daughter in 
marriage (G. Herbst and Hertzberg). The date of Alcibiades' appear- 
ance at Olympia is fixed by Grote, vii. 74 note, in 01. xc. 1 (b. c. 420); T 
prefer Hertzberg's date, viz. 01. xci. 1 (b. c. 416). But even in the latter 
case it must be assumed that his brilliant i7T7roTpo<£ia was not owing t« 
the treasures of Hipponicus. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 335 

tant, and provoked opposition on all sides ; and, amidst 
the joyous applause with which the multitude surrounded 
its favorite, the tones of mistrust and hatred made them- 
selves heard with increasing distinctness. The elder gene- 
ration was filled with indignation against this tempter of 
the youth of Attica, who, in imitation of Alcibiades, ne- 
glected the palaestrae, audaciously spurned every ancient 
usage, and considered a wild and reckless life of debauch- 
ery fashionable and aristocratic. Those who meant honest- 
ly by the constitution could not but recognize more clearly 
from day to day, that the sole object of Alcibiades was an 
absolute and irresponsible rule, to which he believed him- 
self to have already established so safe an expectancy, that 
he even now fearlessly and shamelessly violated all the 
principles of civic equality ; and, though the unthinking 
crowd admired the reckless audacity with which he pur- 
sued his ends, yet there were not wanting men who applied 
the standard of morality to his acts. On the stage,in par- 
ticular, voices of disapproval made themselves heard. On 
the tragic stage, indeed, Euripides testified to his manifest 
admiration of the hero of the day, whom he celebrated as 
the successful creator of the Argive alliance, and whose 
anti-Spartan policy he fully echoed ; but at the same time 
he raised a voice of blame and serious warning. Far less 
sparing, however, were the attacks of the comic poets, 
above all, of Eupolis, who, in the spring of B.C. 415 (01. 
xci. 1), produced his Bapto3, in which he with wrathful in- 
dignation brought on the stage the licentious festivals, 
celebrated at night-time by Alcibiades and his associates 
in honor of a strange goddess, Cotytto ; so that Alcibiades 
is said to have conceived a deadly hatred against the poet. 
The public insult thus offered to religion by his mockeries 
naturally made the priests in particular, and all connected 
with them, his enemies, as they saw their influence menaced 
and their revenues diminished by his proceedings. To 
these adversaries were added the popular speakers, Andro- 

336 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

cles, Cleonymus, and otliers, who could not forgive Alci- 
biades for having destroyed their influence; and, again, 
his numerous personal enemies, who lay in wait for an 
opportunity to take vengeance upon Alcibiades for injuries 
suffered at his hands, and among whom were many who 
had formerly been among his associates. But his bitterest 
opponents were the ancient enemies of the democracy, the 
avowed or hidden adherents of the party of the nobles, 
who hated Alcibiades with a double hatred, because they 
regarded him as a renegade, and were obliged to rid them- 
selves of him, in case they wished to carry through their 
own plans. The adherents of this line of policy had for a 
time followed the lead of Nicias, who had formed a centre 
for the more worthy remnants of the ancient aristocracy 
of Athens ; but the attitude assumed by him appeared too 
feeble to the younger and more vehement members of the 
party, and the character of his policy too honest and too 
confiding. An open and avowed opposition must, in their 
opinion, fail to have any effect ; accordingly, measures to 
oppose the democracy must be taken in secret. Thus the 
warfare of parties at Athens assumed a totally different 

Secret combinations of the kind were in- 
ciuhs! P ° deed no novelty at Athens. They made 

their appearance in the midst of the Persian 
wars ; in the camp before Plataeae (vol. ii. p. 366), as well 
as in the battle of Tanagra (vol. ii. p. 439), they led to 
treasonable attempts: nor were these party tendencies 
wholly extinguished even in the times of Pericles. But 
they attained to fresh significance after the death of Per- 
cles, because the degenerate phase into which the demo- 

* For the relations between Euripides and Alcibiades, see Herbst, 
Buckkehr d. Ale. p. 26; Hertzberg, p. 130; Eupolis Bam-ai- Meineke, - 
Qutest. 8c. i. 42. — The secret clubs were called ercupeuu (eraipiai) or 
£vvb>no<riai enl 8iKai? *ai ap\oi5. Kruger, Diovt/8. Historiogr. p. 363 ; Vischer, 
d. Olig. Partei, p. 16. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 337 

cracy had fallen caused a reaction ; and thus, particularly 
in the period during which Cleon's influence was para- 
mount in the state, and by means of a democratic ter- 
rorism persecuted every independent manifestation of 
opposite opinions, secret associations (iratptat) existed, 
whose professed object was merely joyous social intercourse, 
but which assumed in secret a more and more decidedly 
political character. It did not follow, that all who enter- 
tained the same political opinions were united in the same 
association, but there existed a number of separate circles 
of the same or similar tendency, membership of which 
exercised so strong a claim upon the individual, that in 
comparison his natural obligations to his family and 
native city fell into the background. For the members 
not only agreed upon certain principles, but also under- 
took the performance of certain services, and bound them- 
selves, by a solemn oath, mutually to support one another 
at the risk of their property and life in lawsuits, as well 
as in the candidature for public offices, after having 
arrived at a common agreement on the subject. 

These clubs accordingly differed in all respects from the 
political associations of earlier times (vol. ii. p. 240). 
Originally, they constituted a mode of defence in seasons 
of danger against the Sycophants (p. 120); but gradually 
the designs and plans of these associations proceeded 
further and further. They were for the most part com- 
posed of members of ancient families with innate oli- 
garchical tendencies, —passionate and excited young men 
of loose habits of life, who found no sphere for their 
ambition in the Athens of the day, who had received a 
sophistic education, and were full of unintelligible politi- 
cal theories, which obscured in them the plain perception 
of law and sense of duty ; who were accordingly vain and 
devoid of conscientiousness, contemners of law and usage, 
and scorners of the multitude and its rule. In proportion 
as the foreign policy of the state became democratic, the 

338 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

aristocratic clubs grew into associations of anti-patriotic 
conspirators, who felt more sympathy for Sparta than for 
their own native city ; and the more recklessly Alcibiades 
advanced in his proceedings, the less they troubled their 
minds as to the justifiability of any particular ways and 
means by which the dominion of the multitude and its 
favorites might be overthrown; nor did they hesitate occa- 
sionally to assume the mask of zealous friends of the con- 
stitution, and to effect temporary combinations with the 
ultra-democrats, in order under this disguise to be able to 
act with greater effect. Thus was formed a party numeri- 
cally weak, but strong by its resolution, talent, and 
excellent organization, which was in constant readiness, 
and which firmly believed that its opportunity could not 
fail to come in time. 

Among these adversaries of the demo- 
Antiphon ; cracy only one openly opposed Alcibiades. 
This was Antiphon, the son of the sophist 
Sophilus, and himself a master of political oratory (vol. 
ii. p. 569); for it cannot assuredly be doubted that his 
speeches on the subject of the tribute paid by the allies 
were directed against the policy of Alcibiades. All the 
other Athenians, who at an earlier or later date appear as 
enemies of the democracy, we find engaged in secret 
operations more or less evidently connected with the aris- 
tocratic clubs. One of these men was 

Pisander; -.. . _ . . , . ., 

risander of Acharnse, who stood in evil 
repute at Athens as an effeminate debauchee, and who 
was at the same time a born intriguer and an adept in 
dissimulation ; further, Charicles, the son 
of Apollodorus, who contrived equally well 
to conceal his party views, and was at the time a popular 
personage at Athens, filling public offices with high conside- 
ration. One of the best-known personages, 
lastly, was Andocides, the son of Leogoras. 
He was descended from one of the most ancient and 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 339 

wealthy Eupatrid families, a house whose history was 
most honorably interwoven with that of Athens (vol. i. 
p. 397) ; he was at the same time personally a talented 
and eloquent man, whose oligarchical sentiments, how- 
ever, exposed him to manifold attacks on the part of the 
popular orators. He too, beyond a doubt, belonged to a 
close association.* 

It lies in the nature of the case, that 
such secret societies are never perceptible, th/H " en f e of 
until they succeed in exercising a decisive 
influence upon the course of the state. And even then it 
remains impossible to follow their effects, as well as their 
changing attitude, significance, and composition, with any 
certainty. Only so much is clear : that this kind of party 
warfare more and more decomposed and poisoned society. 
Hitherto a certain openness and simplicity had prevailed 
in public life ; the citizens had bestowed their confidence 
upon the most efficient individuals, and had relied upon 
their necessarily and naturally keeping in view nothing 
beyond the interests of the commonwealth in the adminis- 
tration of public offices: now, for the first time, the party- 
color of each man was made the test of his eligibility. 
By the side of political, religious fanaticism asserted 
itself. And — which was the greatest evil of all — the men 
of different views no longer as hitherto confronted one 
another before the people openly, honestly, and with a 
good conscience, as standing upon the common ground of 
patriotism, but a selfish system of coteries drove into the 
background all higher interests ; the interests common to 
all were no longer regarded, and the predominant object 
of each man and party was simply to attain to power and 
influence by overthrowing their adversaries. For this 
purpose, combinations were formed between oligarchs and 

*Antiphon: Blass, Attische Beredsamkeit, i. 79. Pisander: Meineke, 
Fr. Com. i. 17fi. Charicles : Thuc. vii. 20 ; cf. Wattenbach de Quad' 
ring. p. 11. Andocides : Blass, p. 268. 

340 History of Greece. C Bo °k Tf. 

demagogues, between religious fanatics and free-thinkers. 
And in these contrasts there was a general absence of the 
moral force of conviction Alcibiades was the champion 
of the democracy, not from any feeling of loyalty towards 
the constitution, but merely because the democracy 
promised to satisfy his ambition ; and similarly the 
adversaries of the democracy were solely intent upon their 
own advantage, and prepared to sacrifice everything, even 
the honor and independence of their native city. 

Amidst the prevalence of the influences of such party 
attempts as these, the community could not but degene- 
rate with fearful rapidity. In proportion as the natural 
bonds of house and family were loosened, these arbitrary 
connections flourished, which even furnished a certain 
justification for, and imposed a certain obligation of, 
breaking up the bonds of nature. The real vigor and 
strength of the commonwealth were undermined ; the 
very ground on which the state stood resembled a 
volcano ; and the dangers at home were more threatening 
than those outside the walls. Abroad, the power of 
Athens was great and feared ; for her revenues were 
vaster, her naval dominion more absolute, and her enemies 
weaker than at any previous period : but the inner force 
of the republic, which was based upon the virtue and 
patriotism of her citizens, was in a state of thorough 

Such was the condition of affairs at Athens when the 
envoys from Egesta arrived there (p. 283). 

Reception of They addressed the citizens in skillful 

the embassy . . , 

from Egesta. speeches, pointing out the danger which 
would accrue, were Syracuse allowed grad- 
ually to subject to herself all the independent states of the 
island ; and they promised to defray the expenses of the 
war from their own resources. Their application w r as 
discussed amidst much excitement in meetings of the 
citizens. The opponents of the Sicilian schemes wished 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 341 

that the project should be rejected at once, because they 
foresaw that it would be afterwards impossible to know 
at what point to stop ; and they particularly warned the 
citizens against allowing themselves to be deceived by the 
delusive pretences of the islanders. This was the language 
of those who considered an adherence to the policy of 
Pericles in foreign affairs the primary condition of the 
public welfare, nor was any one more eager in the advo- 
cacy of this view than Nicias, who entertained no doubt 
as to the fact that the Sicilian expedition would inevitably 
entail a renewed outbreak of a general Hellenic war. 
The party of Alcibiades, on the other hand, 
vehemently supported the Egestseans ; and Athenian Com- 

. . « . . i missionera sent 

at last the majority ol the citizens agreed to Egesta. 01. 
upon in the first instance despatching en- JJ;_h x ^ B ' c * 
voys, to convince themselves with their own 
eyes as to the resources of Egesta — a measure which 
doubtless was demanded by the Egestseans themselves. 

This decree, in fact, already amounted to a victory of 
the war party. For it was not difficult to delude the 
Athenians even more completely at Egesta than had been 
possible in the popular assembly at Athens. They were 
shown the monuments of the city as proofs of the public 
prosperity ; they were led up to the sanctuary of Aphro- 
dite on Mount Eryx, where the entire mass of silver cups, 
cans, censers, and other vessels were displayed before their 
eyes ; in the city they were entertained at luxurious 
banquets, at which identical sets of plate were successively 
shown to them in different houses — plate partly borrowed 
from neighboring Greek and Phoenician cities. Thus the 
envoys, surrounded by boastful and cunning Sicilians, 
were wholly unable to attain to a real view of the finan- 
cial situation of the city, or to a knowledge of its public 
moneys.* Dazzled by the semblance of universal wealth, 

* Thuc. vi. 46. 

342 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

they returned in the spring to Athens ; and when sixty 
talents of coined money were landed in the Pirseeus, which 
the Egestseans had sent with the envoys to serve as pay 
for sixty vessels of war for the first month, this money, 
which was joyously hailed as a first instalment of Sicilian 
tributes, as well as the account given by the envoys them- 
selves, created so overpowering an impression, that, as 
Alcibiades had foreseen, the war party had won the game. 

The campaign was resolved upon, the com- 
and nomination m anders were named and invested with 
of Generals, oi. unlimited powers, being commissioned in 
March. the nrst instance to protect the Egestaeans 

and to re-establish the Leontinians in their 
native city, and furthermore, with reference to the general 
affairs of Sicily, to act as might be most expedient for the 
interests of Athens. This extension of their powers was 
in perfect accordance with the intentions of Alcibiades; 
but he had been unable to carry his own nomination as 
sole commander of the fleet. To obtain this, he was after 
all not sufficiently possessed of the general confidence of 
the citizens, the majority of whom could only be brought 
to consent to the undertaking by the nomination of Nicias 
as his colleague, with Lamachus for a third, who as a 
bold and experienced soldier was designed to take part 
rather in the executive measures of the campaign than in 
its guidance. The citizens accordingly adhered to the view 
which had decided the vote on the day of the last ostra- 
cism, viz., that the safest plan was to unite the two most 
thoroughly dissimilar among all the Athenians for the 
purpose of common action. It was hoped that the 
thoughtful caution of the one and the daring genius of 
the other would act as salutary complements to one an- 
other, though in point of fact that on which everything 
depended, i. e.,an energetic conduct of the war, was by 
this means paralyzed at the very outset. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 343 

No man more deeply regretted this result . 

than Nicias. He had never known any- 
other principle than that of the most anxious caution, and 
now he was, in conjunction with a man who never cared 
to play for any but the highest stakes, and who was his 
bitterest adversary, to lead an expedition which he re- 
garded as the most absurd and ruinous upon which the 
citizens had ever resolved. He was full of indignation at 
the thoughtlessness with which such an expedition as this 
had been resolved upon, before its difficulties had been 
considered or the means of carrying it out discussed ; and 
determined to try every mode of bringing about the revo- 
cation of the decree of war. He accordingly in the next 
assembly, which had been fixed on the sixth day following 
for settling the details of the equipment of the expedition, 
without hesitation, although the proceeding was illegal, 
insisted upon the entire question as to embarking in the 
war at all being once more debated. He fully realized 
the importance of the decision of this day for himself and 
for all Athens. He therefore refused to give way before 
the angry impatience of the multitude, before the wrath 
of the war party or the counter-manoeuvres of Alcibiades, 
who had distributed his followers throughout all parts of 
the assembly, in order to overawe and confuse his oppo- 
nents. Nicias spoke more courageously and impressively 
than on any previous occasion, and actually obtained one 
more hearing for the voice of reason and caution, before 
the fatal resolution was actually carried out. 

In the first place he rebutted the insinuation of personal 
timidity. He then described the situation 
of the state. The peace which had been His speech in 

r m i the assembly. 

obtained amounted to nothing but a brief 
pause of uncertain duration ; the ancient enemies of Athens 
were either lying in wait to put an end to this peace at the 
fir3t opportunity, or had even not yet laid aside their arms. 

344 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

The Chalcidian towns were still in a state of revolt. " And 
we," he continued, " without being safe for a single moment 
in our own house, or having recovered our dominion in our 
own territory, hurry into a new war, of which no man knows 
the end, and which far exceeds all previous limits — into a 
war devoid of any rational object. Fpr even supposing 
that we meet with the greatest success, yet it is impossible 
to hold such a country as Sicily ; while, on the other hand, 
the least mishap must plunge us into the very worst of 
dangers, and double the number of our enemies, for whom 
we are scarcely a match, even as it is. And for what 
reason do we undertake this war, in which we risk every- 
thing belonging to us ? Is it from fear of Syracuse ? The 
danger which might arise to us from that quarter is a vain 
and imaginary fancy. Or from any obligation towards 
Egesta? The Egestoeans are utter strangers to us, and 
have no claim upon our risking people and country on 
account of their border feuds. Or are we, perchance, to 
undertake this war merely for the purpose of gratifying 
the ambition of a few young men, who, without maturity 
or experience, long for the offices and the fame of generals, 
and hope incidentally to be able to restore order to their 
ruined finances ? There exists only one rational principle 
with regard to the admittance of new allies offering them- 
selves from a distance, and that principle is this : only to 
entertain the offers of those who are able to furnish the 
same amount of help as that to which they lay claim. 
We have every reason for caution at home, as against that 
state which possesses allies in the oligarchs in our own 
ranks. Therefore I have this confidence in the elder and 
more experienced among my fellow-citizens — that they 
will allow no false notion of honor and no attempts at 
overawing them to prevent them from following the coun- 
sels of caution ; and from the presiding Prytanis I expect 
that he will not be afraid, at a moment when the welfare 

Chap. IV] To the End of the Sicilian War. 345 

of the state is at stake, to disregard considerations of form, 
and to put the whole question as to the despatch of a fleet 
to Sicily once more to the vote on this day." * 

The discussion was opened. A few spoke 
for Nicias, but the majority against him ; c ibiades. 
and the debate was closed by Alcibiades. 
He first answered the personal attacks in which Nicias 
had against his wont on this occasion indulged with ex- 
treme acrimony. If, said Alcibiades, he spent much 
money and was addicted to pomp, both these things re- 
dounded to the honor and advantage of the city ; but as 
to his inexperience in affairs of state, he had proved in 
Peloponnesus how it was possible without spending any 
public money, or exposing the state to any danger, to hu- 
miliate and weaken such an enemy as Sparta. Events 
were his witnesses ; for Athens had not only gained sure 
adherents in the Doric peninsula, but already at the pre- 
sent moment Peloponnesian contingents responded to the 
levy of the Athenians, and this on his, Alcibiades', ac- 
count. The difficulties of the new war were exaggerated 
by Nicias in accordance with his interests. The Sicilian 
cities were inhabited by a mixed population, and accord- 
ingly always ready for innovations and willing to receive 
those arriving from abroad. The Siceliotes were without 
a country in the sense in which such a one was owned by 
the Hellenes on the hither side of the sea. Moreover, 
they were neither united among themselves, nor sufficient- 
ly prepared for war. On the other hand, it was unworthy 
of Athens never to afford protection to other states except 
after an anxious calculation, and to take thought of no- 
thing but her own safety ; in the days of her brightest 
glory she had at the same time taken the field against the 
Persians and been opposed by the enmity of the Pelopon- 
nesians. A navy such as the Attic sufficed both to pro- 

* Thuc. vi. 9—14. 

346 History of Greece. [ BooK Iv - 

tect the home country and to achieve new victories. In 
the present case this consideration should exercise addi- 
tional weight: that the Athenians were bound by their 
promise to uphold the resolution which they had once 
taken. He accordingly addressed himself, not to the elder 
members of the Assembly, as Nicias had done, but to both 
young and old, and confidently hoped that, according to 
the custom of their fathers, the active energy of the young 
would unite with the wise counsel of the old to advance 
the glory of the city.* 

The speech of Alcibiades was admirably 
War decreed, calculated and brilliantly expressed, and 
415.) ' March, acted with irresistible force upon his hearers. 
The consequence was, that the citizens were 
now in a state of mind even more warlike and resolute 
than in the previous assembly ; and when the Leontinians 
and Egestseans had also spoken, renewing their urgent ap- 
peal for help, all chance of success was at an end for the 
peace party. But Nicias still refused to renounce all 
hope. He now tried to create an impression in the minds 
of the citizens by endeavoring to give them an idea of the 
enormous costs of the war, which would fall upon them 
alone ; for the promises of the allies beyond the sea he de- 
clared to be untrustworthy or purely delusive. The sixty 
talents would be spent in the course of a few weeks ; and 
who would guarantee that the Egestseans would offer up 
all their treasures and sacred vessels for the maintenance 
of foreign troops ? Upon the men of property these repre- 
sentations might exercise a strong effect ; but the multi- 
tudes, which had nothing to lose, turned a deaf ear to 
Hhem. After the speech of Alcibiades, all further hesita- 
tion seemed to detract from the honor of Athens ; and the 
grander the scale on which the expedition was equipped, 
the grander were the success and profit expected from it. 

* Thuc. vi. 16-18. 

Chap, iv.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 347 

Therefore the popular orator Demostratus called upon 
Nicias to state, without any further attempts at evasion, 
the scale of armament demanded by the war; and when 
he asked for a hundred triremes, a corresponding number 
of transports, 5,000 heavy-armed, and a considerable body 
of light-armed, troops, as well as other comprehensive pre- 
parations, all this failed to exercise any deterrent effect ; 
and the citizens in feverish excitement unhesitatingly 
granted everything asked, and accorded absolute powers 
for the purpose to the general. Such was the result of the 
two assemblies of the people, held upon the 19th and 24th 
of March, at Athens. The sole effect of Nicias' attempt 
at opposition was accordingly this : that the armament 
was equipped on an incomparably more costly scale, and 
that all the resources of the state were in a disproportion- 
ate degree called into play for the purposes of the war. 
This only helped to raise the expectations of the Athenians 
to a still higher pitch of unmeasured arrogance, while on 
the other hand an equivalent access of security by no 
means accrued to the undertaking itself. For the size of 
the fleet and army necessarily determined the degree of 
difficulty as to its maintenance in a foreign country, while 
these vast armaments furnished additional justification to 
the suspicious of the neutral states, who could not but re- 
gard them as evidence of the fact that a great territorial 
conquest was intended. Meanwhile the Athenians took 
no heed of these considerations. All resistance was at an 
end, and the enterprise itself was entered upon with all 
energy. City and ports assumed the aspect of a military 
camp ; the people hastened to enroll themselves in the lists 
of soldiers ; and the orders to the allies were drawn up. 

But, although the Athenians courageously 
and vigorously set to work at this great un- State of public 

, , . . . . feeling after the 

dertakmg, yet it was not as m old times, decree. 

when the city was arming for an honest war. 

There was an absence of the joyous spirit which accompanies 

348 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

well-considered action, and of a calm certainty and unity of 
aims and wishes, among the citizens. All Objections had 
been drowned in the clamor of excited popular assemblies ; 
in quieter moments and in smaller circles they came to light 
again and again ; and thus there spread among the com- 
munity an uneasy and anxious feeling as of coming evil, a 
feeling which no man was able to suppress in himself, and 
possessed by which he timidly glanced round and listened 
for any possible omen of the future. Thus the laments 
were remembered, which had resounded from the roofs of 
the houses during the recent debates, when the Athenian 
women were celebrating the festival of Adonis. Solemn 
warnings arrived from Delphi. The divine voice which 
manifested itself in Socrates informed him that no good 
result was to be expected from the expedition, and Meton 
(vol. ii. p. 561) is said to have set fire to his house, in order 
to escape the duty of military service on the plea of in- 
sanity, or to be allowed, on account of the conflagration, 
to retain his son at home.* 

This anxious and susceptible state of feeling at Athens 
became an instrument in the hands of the parties who 
carried on their intrigues in secret, because open resistance 
was impossible. The enemies of Alcibiades, in particular, 
were busily at work. He had now reached the climax of 
his influence ; and although his wish for the sole command 
had been successfully frustrated, yet he was regarded as 
the soul of the whole undertaking ; from his versatile 
genius alone was success expected, and it was to be pre- 
sumed that, supported by an ardent soldiery, he would at 
so great a distance from home paralyze the influence of his 

* As to the chronological order of the assemblies, see Droysen, Rhein. 
Mua. 1835, p. 163. With reference to the coincidences with the Adonia, 
Plut. Ale. 18 is not definite; but there is a thoroughly definite passage 
on the point in Ar. Lysistr. 38l>. As the Adonia were a summer-festival 
(Plat. Phsedr. 276 B.), we probably ought to assume different acts or 
etages in the Adonia, one in the spring, the other at midsummer. 

Chap, iv.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 349 

colleagues, especially as Lamachus was a fiery spirit, who 
preferred the boldest mode of making war, and moreover, 
on account of his personal poverty, naturally stood in the 
position of an inferior towards Alcibiades. But that the 
latter should thus actually realize his arrogant schemes, 
and succeed in adding to his other gifts of fortune the 
splendor of military fame as a successful general, was an 
idea intolerable to his enemies ; so that they were deter- 
mined to use every means for overthrowing him before he 
could return home as an omnipotent victor. For this 
purpose men of the most opposite parties combined, and 
wove a network of intrigues, of which it is difficult to dis- 
tinguish the finely-spun threads.* 

Six weeks, or thereabouts, had passed 
since the last assembly of the people, and the HermaTVi 
the armaments, carried on with unwearying xc - *• ( B - c - 415.) 

rr u- *v • i May 10,11. 

diligence, were approaching their comple- 
tion, when an event of an unprecedented character 
suddenly overwhelmed the city with terror. In a single 
night the numerous marble Hermse, which bordered part 
of the market-place and were erected in front of the 
citizens' houses and sanctuaries, were almost without ex- 
ception beaten to pieces ; so that next morning men beheld 
the four-cornered pillars standing with the heads broken 
off or mutilated, and the streets covered with fragments. 
Mischievous acts at night-time by drunken routs were not 
of uncommon occurrence at Athens ; but a criminal act 
of this extent was unprecedented. A great number of 
inhabitants must necessarily have combined for its perpe- 
tration, and these men must be actuated by motives, and 
must pursue designs, of which the public had no 
conception. The very mystery which involved the whole 
transaction plunged the entire community into the deepest 
excitement and anxiety. A general indignation prevailed 

* As to the intrigues against Alcibiades, see Hertzberg, w. «. p. 167. 

350 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

at the sacrilege committed against the city ; for however 
thoughtlessly men might generally pass by the Hermse, 
yet they were not only a popular and peculiar ornament 
of this city, but also a symbol of public order : they were 
witnesses to the religious sense which from ancient times 
constituted the glory of Athens ; and, by their antique 
form alone, formed venerable monuments of the cult 
which had undergone no change during the long succes- 
sion of generations, and symbols of the divine protection. 
Nor was this all. Far more disquieting was the idea that 
in the midst of the city there existed parties who combined 
for such an act of impiety ; against men of this kind 
no institution of the state, no object sanctified by law or 
usage could be safe. Hence it was in vain that the more 
thoughtful among the citizens advised the others not to 
attach too much weight to the occurrence, which was 
nothing but a new attempt to prevent the departure of 
the fleet by means of bad omens ; possibly, even the 
Corinthians might have had something to do with it, in 
order thus to ward off the war which threatened their 
daughter-city in Sicily. The council deemed it to be their 
duty to take the matter into their own hands ; and as, 
unfortunately for Athens, their position was not suffi- 
ciently independent to allow them to deal with any matter 
of importance independently of the people, the entire 
community was immediately made to assist at this police 
inquiry ; so that the party leaders found ample room for 
the exercise of their influence, while a feverish excite- 
ment pervaded all classes of the population. 

The first personage who now steps for- 
The commis- warc l and is manifestlv pursuing definite 

eion of inquiry. 7 * ■*■ ° 

political objects, is Pisander. He endeavors 
to represent the discovery of the crime in the interest of 
the public welfare as a subject before which all others 
should fall into the background ; and brings about a 
popular decree announcing a reward of 10,000 drachms 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 351 

(376£ circ.) for the first information as to its perpetrators. 
At the same time, extraordinary powers are conferred 
upon the council, and a permanent commission of inquiry- 
is nominated. But no discovery ensued ; the commission- 
ers and members of the council held their sittings without 
accomplishing anything. This increased the fears of the 
public ; the atmosphere became more and more stormy, and 
the state of the public mind more uneasy and anxious, in 
exact accordance with the wishes of those who were 
anxious to make capital, for their party purposes, out of 
the excited passions of the people. These were chiefly 
men of anti-constitutional sentiments ; among them Pisan- 
der and Charicles — who, however, at the present moment 
assumed the pretence of the most vigilant friendship 
towards popular government, and were the most zealous 
members of the commission of inquiry. It was partisans 
of this tendency who took advantage of the mutilation of 
the Hermse ; and it is therefore extremely probable, that 
the act itself was directly or indirectly attributable to 
themselves. They were accordingly best able to prevent 
any information on the subject reaching the ears of the 
people, and any discovery being made by the commission. 
Finally, by means of an understanding with the dema- 
gogues, such as Cleonymus and Androcles, who were ready 
to enter into any combination for bringing about the over- 
throw of Alcibiades, and with religious fanatics of the stamp 
of Diopithes (p. 48), who now came forward again,- they 
contrived to advance the whole matter to a new stage. 

" The Sacrilegious mutilation of the Hermse," they said, 
"is no isolated fact; a vast connection manifests itself 
between different pernicious tendencies; the city is full of 
men to whom nothing is sacred: these are radical evils 
which ought not to be overlooked. Accordingly, the 
present special inquiry must be extended to the whole 
field of public religious worship ; and a public reward 
must be announced for all information referring to it." 

352 History of Greece. [ b °ok IV. 

By the adoption of this motion, the police inquiry into a 
single criminal excess became a comprehensive judicial 
inquiry dictated by special views; and to this it was 
impossible to assign limits in a city where free-thinking 
was in fashion. The doors were thrown open to informers 
of all kinds ; and the net was cast in which all were to 
be caught upon whose reputation a blemish rested. 

Again weeks passed, before any event of 

Further dcnun- . , Tj , , 

ciations. (Beg. importance occurred. It almost appeared as 
^ Z^ 11116 ' B - c - if the great question of the campaign would 
throw all others into the shade: the fleet 
lay in the harbor ready for sailing, and the vessel of 
Lamachus, who was impatient to start, was already out in 
the roads. The authority of Alcibiades was still unim- 
paired, although the ground beneath his feet had been 
undermined by the club-men and the demagogues. He 
might hope to step upon the deck of his admiral's vessel 
without let or hindrance ; for already a day had been 
fixed for the popular assembly, in which the generals were 
to make their reports as to the completion of the arma- 
ment, and to receive the final commands of the people. 
But it was this very day which his adversaries had se- 
lected for unfolding their designs ; and the military ques- 
tions, for the discussion of which the meeting had been 
summoned, were unexpectedly interrupted by the inter- 
ference of a certain Pythonicus. He mounted the tribune, 
and loudly and solemnly warned bis fellow-citizens to take 
heed, lest they brought heav} 7 misfortune upon their own 
heads. Their general, Alcibiades, he declared to be a 
criminal. He had parodied the Eleusinian mysteries in 
the house of his dissolute booj-companion Pulytion, and 
had thus, in the company of other young men, blasphe- 
mously desecrated the most sacred thing belonging to the 
state ! A slave was brought forward, who had witnessed 
the performance, and who mentioned the perpetrators, 
among them Alcibiades, by name. Most of the accused 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 35;) 

took flight before the commencement of the trial, and 
thus confirmed the truth of the statement. Hereupon, 
all other matters were suddenly again forgotten, and the 
passionately-excited people became wholly and entirely 
occupied with this capital inquiry. Informations flowed 
in from various sources, from resident aliens, slaves, and 
women, chiefly in reference to the mysteries. Confiscations 
of property and executions became events of daily occur- 
rence. Leogoras, the father of Andocides, with difficulty 
escaped condemnation ; for even members of the oligarchic 
circles of society occasionally fell as victims, and the 
movement had passed beyond the control of its real 
authors ; the passions of the people had been unchained, 
and the intrigues of the most opposite parties crossed one 
another. But the heaviest blow of all fell upon that circle 
of which Alcibiades was the centre, and he was himself 
more and more clearly marked out as the focus of all 
impiety and of all insults to religion in the state. His 
closest adherents were overawed, and every kind of sus- 
picion was cast upon himself personally. His office as 
general still protected him from an ordinary prosecution : 
and thus he continued to resist the tide, though in the face 
of the greatest difficulties ; for he was surrounded by 
insidious enemies, and yet without any avowed opponent 
whom he could endeavor to strike down : and was thus 
caught in a net which he was unable to penetrate. At 
last he was openly attacked bv Androcles, _, 

x J J , Charge brought 

who brought forward a charge in an excep- forward by An- 
tional form, applicable as against state roe es ' 
criminals. Alcibiades was charged with being guilty of 
the desecration of the mysteries, and with standing at the 
head of a secret association, whose object it was to over- 
throw the constitution. The council summoned an 
assembly of the citizens, in order to commit to the latter 
the decision of the question, whether the charge against 
their general was to be entertained or not. 

354 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

The critical moment had arrived, and Alcibiades ga- 
thered together all his strength in order to issue forth vic- 
toriously from the ordeal. Instead of moving the rejection 
of the charge, he demanded the most searching inquiry, 
declaring himself ready in the case of his conviction to 
suffer the full penalty of the crime ; while, in the opposite 
event, he asked to be left in undisturbed possession of his 
office and dignity. 

The resolute bearing of Alcibiades brought the matter 
into a phase unexpected by Androcles and 
the inquiry. n ^ s associates. For they had intended that 
the citizens should immediately deprive the 
general of his office ; in which case the fleet would have 
taken its departure, and Alcibiades, deprived of the sup- 
port of the warlike younger generation, would unques- 
tionably have succumbed to the assaults of his enemies. 
But now the whole situation of affairs had assumed 
another aspect. The crews waited for their general, 
under whom alone they hoped to achieve victory and 
obtain its spoils; the auxiliaries from Peloponnesus 
declined to join the expedition, if it were not commanded 
by him ; and he stood himself unbroken and unbent, and 
ready to defend his cause ; and, in case an inquiry ac- 
tually took place, might reckon upon the support of a 
strong party. Nothing remained but to attempt a new 
trick. Accordingly, certain popular speakers were made 
to propose, seemingly in the interest of Alcibiades himself, 
that the matter should be left in its present state, lest the 
general should at the critical moment be involved in 
interminable inquiries, and that he should not be called 
to account until after his return. In vain Alcibiades, who 
saw through the malignant cunning of his adversaries, 
entreated his fellow-citizens not to listen to this proposal, 
declaring it to be an unheard-of proceeding to place a 
general at the head of so important an armament, whilst 
lying under the cloud of such a charge. If he was to 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 355 

confront the foe with a whole heart, he must be free from 
all fear of calumnies behind his back, and possess the full 
confidence of his fellow-citizens. The multitude entirely 
failed to comprehend the real point at issue. Alcibiades 
saw himself outvoted by both friends and foes ; and a 
large majority decreed the adjournment of legal proceed- 
ings against him.* 

Hereupon the people, easily moved in any direction, 
once more devoted its undivided attention to the fleet 

The time was the middle of the summer 

.,.. -,- , n ill 11 The armada 

(the beginning ot July), and the hundred sails. 01. xc. l. 
Attic triremes, viz., sixty fast rowers and ^'j u fy^' Beg " 
forty transports, lay in port ready to sail ; 
if anything was to be done before the present year was at 
an end, no further time was to be lost. Thus the day of 
departure was fixed, and at early morning the troops 
marched out to Dipylum in order to embark. It was an 
army of chosen troops, composed of 1,500 citizens, clad in 
heavy armor furnished by themselves, besides 700 equipped 
at the public cost, a squadron of cavalry, and 750 Pelo- 
ponnesian soldiers. All Athens accompanied them down 
to the port ; the citizens in order to enjoy a last view of 
their kinsmen, the resident aliens and strangers as curious 
lookers-on at so extraordinary a spectacle. Six years and 
four months had passed since the conclusion of the peace, 
during which the hostilities which had taken place had 
been of no importance, and for the most part of brief 
duration. This circumstance greatly heightened the 
excitement caused by the commencement of this vast 
enterprise; and, although already on former occasions 
considerable fleets had been seen assembled in the Pi- 
rseeus, yet none had at all equalled the present in splendor: 
it was an armada such as no single Greek state had ever 

* 'H twi> 'Epfxwv irepiKoirf) : Thuc. vi. 27 sq., 60; Andoc. de myst. and 
de reditu; Droysen, in Welcker's Rhein. Mu$. iii. and iv. 

856 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

before called into life. For both the state and the citizens 
individually had risen to extraordinary exertions. The 
armada was intended to engage not only in naval battles 
and landings, but also in land-marches, sieges, and con- 
quests ; a long absence had to be reckoned upon, and the 
supplies were provided on a corresponding scale. The 
equipment of the expedition resembled the preparations 
for the settlement of a colony in a hostile country. The 
wealthy citizens who accompanied the armada as trierarchs 
(vol. ii. p. 525) were animated by the most zealous spirit 
of emulation. Each desired his rowers to be the best 
practised, his suits of armor and the equipment of his 
vessel to be the most complete. The state gave to each 
seaman a full drachm (9cZ.) as daily wages, amounting to 
one-third more than the ordinary pay ; the trierarchs at 
their own cost added a further sum for the Thranitoz (i. e., 
the rowers of the topmost bench, whose service was 
the most arduous), as well as for the steersman. The 
ships were newly painted, and adorned with heraldic 
symbols of favorable augury. Everywhere was apparent 
the influence of Alcibiades, who attached much weight to 
Athens appearing before the eyes of all the Greeks, not 
only as a strong power, but also in all possible splendor 
and pomp, as if what awaited her were not the manifold 
changes of an arduous war, but an easy and certain vic- 

When all the troops were on board, the signal sounded ; 
and the clamor which had filled the port was followed by 
an interval of solemn silence. The herald raised his voice 
and recited the customary prayer. On all the ships the 
words were repeated as with one voice ; the people throng, 
ing the shore joined in ; the smoke ascended from the 
altars, the goblets were passed round, the libations poured 
forth, the psean was raised, and as soon as the sacrifices 
were completed, the oars struck into the water. In a long 
procession the ships passed out of the harbor-gate ; arrived 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 357 

outside, they formed in line, and opened the campaign by 
a joyous race to iEgina. The people looked down upon 
the departing ships from the Munychian heights, thrilled 
Vvith the deepest emotions ; for in this the hour of farewell 
the decree of war, to which they had so lightly assented 
amidst the excitement of the assembly, fell with a dull 
weight upon their hearts. Not until the present moment 
had they realized the long parting from their friends and 
brethren, the uncertainty of ever seeing them again, and 
the doubtfulness of success. Dark and anxious thoughts 
changed their proud exultation into melancholy. The 
seas and coasts to which their fellow-citizens were sailing 
were unknown to them, and if' they remembered what 
resources the state and citizens had expended upon this 
fleet while war threatened on all sides at home, they could 
not but return to their daily avocations with heavy hearts. 
Meanwhile the fleet steered from ^Egina round the 
peninsula to Corcyra. Here it was awaited by the vessels 
of the allies, thirty-four triremes and two Rhodian fifty- 
oared ships — which were of special importance, consider- 
ing the relations existing between Rhodes and Sicily — 
besides thirty transports laden with corn, and at the same 
time with bakers, carpenters, and handicraftsmen of all 
kinds on board ; and by 100 smaller vessels belonging to 
private owners and temporarily appropriated by the state, 
and a number of other craft equipped by traders, who 
voluntarily joined the armada. The number of heavy- 
armed troops now amounted to 5,100. Inclusive of the 
Cretan archers, the Rhodian slingers, and other light- 
armed troops, among whom were fugitives from Mcgara, 
the whole numerical total of the soldiers rose to about 
6,500 men. The 134 triremes required 25,460 men for 
their service. Besides these and the private servants of 
the soldiers, without taking into account the crews of the 
commissariat vessels — as to whose numbers it is impossible 
to form an estimate — and the workmen, the sum total of 

358 History of Greece. C b <><>k iv - 

the men whom Athens assembled on her vessels against 
Sicily may be reckoned at 36,000.* 

Three vessels preceded the rest of the 

The different n . r . 1 n . . . ., 

plans of the Beet * or the purpose ot reconnoitenog bicily ; 
three com- ^he fleet followed in three divisions, which 
the generals had distributed amongst them- 
selves by lot. Thus the voyage was accomplished as far 
as Italy, and then continued in a southward direction 
along the coast. Here the first experiences made by the 
fleet were the reverse of agreeable. For of course the 
natives refused to believe the commanders of such an 
armada as this, when they declared that nothing was 
intended beyond the settlement of Sicilian disputes as to 
boundaries. The cities, with the exception of Thurii, 
maintained a reserved and suspicious attitude, and refused 
hospitable admission to the fleet. Tarentum and Locri 
would not even permit the sailors to fetch supplies of 
water, and the Athenians met with a reception resembling 
that of an invaded country, without being able to use 
force ; and here it for the first time showed itself how the 
numbers of the fleet diminished instead of increasing the 
chances of success. 

Near the city of Ehegium the army sat down in a gene- 
ral encampment, where it intended to rest for a shorfc 
space of time before commencing active military opera- 
tions. It was here, too, that for the first time definite 
plans of war were adopted and discussed. 

Nicias once more endeavored to restrict the whole 
undertaking to the narrowest limits. The promises of 
the Egestseans, he showed to have proved entirely false, 
according to his prediction, as soon as they had to make 

* Date of the departure of the armada, fo'povs iieaovvros rjSrj (Thuc. vi. 
30), hut still 'Api/nv^crTov apxovTos : Isaeus vi. 14, p. 77, ed. Schcemann; 
Bhein. Mm. p. 170. As to the size of the armament, see Boeckh, P. R 
p. 266 [E. Tr.] ; cf. Wb'lfflin, in N. Schweizer Museum, 1866, p. 251. 

Chap. IV ] To the End of the Sicilian War. 359 

good their words, and this, he declared, amounted to an 
additional reason, why the expedition should confine itself 
to the most necessary proceedings. It would be sufficient 
to force the Selinuntians to conclude peace, to endeavor to 
accomplish something in favor of the Leontinians, and 
then return home. His proposals, as he could not but 
have expected, met with the strongest resistance on the 
part of both his colleagues. But they too differed from 
one another in their views. Lamachus advocated a rapid 
attack upon Syracuse, where everything was still in a 
state of the greatest confusion, inasmuch as up to the last 
moment the fact of the actual approach of an Attic fleet 
had been refused credit. To delay the attack would 
merely endanger its success, by enabling the city to in- 
crease its armaments, and the whole island to unite more 
closely. Alcibiades can scarcely have failed to perceive 
that this plan was the best. But a rapid success was by 
no means his main object. He wished to take up a 
settled position on the island ; he desired the war to take 
a course in which he should play the leading part ; above 
all, he wished in the first instance to assert his personal 
influence in Sicily, in order here, as he had done 
elsewhere, to surround himself with a body of adherents. 
He therefore took advantage of the timidity 
of Nicias, in order to carry the less bold Th ® plan of 
plan of operations. The cities of the island adopted, 
were to be gained over to the side of Athens 
by means of well-conducted negotiations — their ample 
resources were thus to be made use of; the discontented 
party men, deserters, and slaves were to be attracted ; and 
thus the Athenians were, in a certain sense as a Sicilian 
power, to oppose Syracuse, and, after cutting the city off* 
from all her allies, to bring about her fall.* 

Alcibiades was now in his element. He conducted 

* Thuc. ri. 47. 

360 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

...,., a division of the fleet to the east coast 


summoned to of the island ; made himself, without any 
Saiaminiaf *" difficulty, master of Naxos ; frightened 
the Syracusans in their own harbor by 
means of daring cruises ; occupied Catana ; and thus 
secured for the Athenians a well-situated station and 
harbor in the island itself, whence they might disturb the 
safety of the Syracusans, and bring the rest of the terri- 
tory of the island into their possession. Thus, after the 
favorable opportunity of unexpectedly striking one deci- 
sive blow had passed by, a plan of operations was agreed 
upon, the success of which depended solely upon Alci- 
biades personally ; nor could there be any doubt, but that 
the unstable Siceliotes, as well as the native Siculi, would 
allow themselves to be gained over by skilful negotia- 
tions. But scarcely had this plan been determined upon 
when the Salaminia, the Athenian vessel of state, arrived 
off Catana, with orders that Alcibiades was to return 
home immediately, in order to justify himself before the 
people in the matter of the mysteries, and on account of 
the mutilation of the Hermae.* 

Fresh disturbances had broken out at 

at A!he U ns banCe3 Athens after the departure of the armada. 
The party leaders, whose attempts had still 
fallen short of their object, took advantage of the points 
in the situation more favorable for their purpose, of the 
feelings of a void in the action of the state and of 
intolerable suspense, which now prevailed. A walk along 
the streets of the city was sufficient to recall the yet 
unsolved enigma ; and to the itch of curiosity was added 
the craving after some fresh excitement, to which the 
people had now become habituated. A large number of 
citizens in the prime of life were absent. The party 
leaders had remained behind ; the commission of inquiry 

*Thuc vi. 61; Plut. Ale. c. 22. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 361 

was still sitting, and fostered the flame of the public 
anger; the ancient bugbear of the Tyrannis was once 
more brought forward, and the remembrance of the deeds 
of Hippias recalled, in order to prevent the public mind 
from recovering its calm. The first result obtained was a 
change of opinion in reference to Alcibiades. His enemies 
fell upon him in his absence with complete success, as all 
his adherents were away on the fleet. Those of his friends 
and relatives who had remained at home were pursued, 
arrested, and condemned. Soon matters had fallen into a 
worse state than ever before. The worthiest citizens suc- 
cumbed to the charges of the vilest fellows. No man was 
sure of his personal safety ; not even the consciousness of 
innocence afforded a pledge of security. For a state of 
feeling prevailed in which every charge was believed, and 
the most absurd charge met with the readiest credit. 
Friends of Alcibiades were said to have entered into a 
conspiracy at Argos against the democracy: this was 
declared a prelude of what Athens had to expect. Lace- 
dsemonian troops appeared at the Isthmus ; this venture 
must have been undertaken in consequence of an under- 
standing with the conspirators : and the people was fully 
convinced that Alcibiades was working in Sicily with the 
view of overthrowing popular government at Athens. 
The feeling of annoyance at the abject worship formerly 
paid to him helped to deprive the present wrath of the 
people against him of all reason and measure. 

Next, a mass of accusations were brought 
6y divers informers, which for the moment 
diverted public attention from Alcibiades personally. 
First (towards the end of July) Dioclides informed 
against forty-two Athenians, whom he professed to have 
recognized by the light of the full moon as the mutilators 
of the Hermse on the fatal night in May. His whole 
statement was unsupported by the faintest proof; and yet 
Pisander, as if the existence of the state were at stake, 

362 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

dared to propose the most extraordinary measures. The 
rights of citizens were suspended, and the application of 
torture sanctioned, even in the case of free Athenians ; the 
whole community stood under arms for the period of a 
night and a day, and trembled at enemies within and 
without the walls, although no actual danger could be 
demonstrated. Meanwhile guilty and innocent persons 
had been equally placed under arrest: — loyal adherents 
of the constitution, such as Eucrates the brother of Nicias ; 
followers of Alcibiades, such as Critias the son of Cal- 
lseschus ; and partisans of oligarchical tendencies, such as 
Leogoras and Andocides. There was no attempt at any 
regular procedure; blind passion had the upper hand. 
Justice was administered after the fashion of despotic 
states, where every event out of the common order is 
regarded as a mark of treasonable designs. In the present 
case, the people was the suspicious despot, and everywhere 
scented conspiracy and high treason, obeying in its folly 
the lead of men whose sole fundamental object was the 
overthrow of the constitution. 

The most melancholy end now awaiting 

Andocides. _ . 

one and all ot the arrested persons, Ando- 
cides resolved to make a fresh statement. Impunity was 
all the more readily promised him, because from him, 
sooner than from any one else, might be expected a full 
confession of the truth ; for he had from the first been 
considered to be one of the guilty ; and the strange circum- 
stance, that the Hermes before his house, which was 
distinguished for its beauty, had remained uninjured, had 
increased the suspicion against him. Andocides hereupon 
declared that the offence had been committed at the 
instigation of a certain Euphiletus, and by the members 
of an association to which he, Andocides, himself belonged. 
His statement directly contradicted that of Dioclides. 
The two statements were compared, and it was now for 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 363 

the first time remembered that the act had been perpe- 
trated, not at the season of the full moon, but at that of 
the new. In short, Dioclides was declared a shameless 
and corrupt liar, and, after having been very recently- 
lauded as a preserver and benefactor ot the state, was 
executed as a criminal. 

At last a period of calm seemed to have 
been reached ; the danger was over, it was Condemnation 
now possible to breathe more freely ; and it 
w r as universally believed that the real authors of the 
mutilation of the Hermse had been discovered and pun- 
ished. But the information obtained was not considered 
sufficient; the people refused to believe that no serious 
danger had really existed, that no overthrow of the con- 
stitution had been intended, and that all these troubles 
had been caused by the mad freak of a drinking-party. 
The public excitement, which required some particular 
object upon which to vent itself, was now again directed 
against Alcibiades, although Andocides had not informed 
against him. Once more bis enemies combined ; oligarchs 
and demagogues united with those who were above all 
zealous for the state religion, for the purpose of striking 
the decisive blow. The affair of the mysteries was re- 
opened. On this head Alcibiades had unquestionably 
offended ; and this fact the people now considered as 
equivalent to evidence of Tyrannical designs. The occur- 
rences at Argos, the march of the Spartans, the movements 
of the Boeotians on the frontier of Attica, — all these events 
were absurdly connected with one another, and regarded 
as a scheme of Alcibiades for placing his native city in the 
hands of her foes. Thessalus, the son of Cimon, who 
belonged to the oligarchical party, brought forward the 
charge before the people, accusing Alcibiades of having, 
with his companions, by parodying the mysteries, sinned 
against the Eleusinian goddesses. He described the 
occurrence so minutely as to leave no room for a doubt 

364 History of Greece. t BooK IV. 

as to its truth, while as to the rest he prudently confined 
himself to facts, and left it to the people to draw the 
ultimate conclusions. Thus he achieved a complete suc- 
cess. Alcibiades was recalled in the midst of the under- 
taking which, in the way in which it had been actually 
set about, could be carried out by no man except himself. 
He was not powerful enough to refuse obedience to the 
commands of the citizens ; but he was determined not to 
appear before his judges. When the Salaminia returned 
to Athens without the accused, he was condemned to death 
in his absence, his property confiscated, and the curse of 
the priests pronounced upon him as a traitor against the 

This was the first victory achieved by 
Results of the fc intrigues at Athens over the state and 

party intrigues. l J & 

its interests; the end of a struggle which 
had for months agitated the community, and brought into 
play all the decomposing elements existing in it : hatred 
and passion, impudent audacity and hypocrisy, supersti- 
tious terror and frivolous insolence. It was a victory of 
the revolution over law and usage ; and therefore society 
had not only most heavily suffered under it externally in 
the shape of banishments, confiscations, and capital 
sentences, but had also been affected in its innermost life 
by the consequences resulting from this victory; the sense 
of right and wrong was blunted, and the voice of morality 
drowned. Day after day the citizens had seen the most 
sacred ties disregarded, accused persons sacrificing those 
who had become their bail, and witnesses unblushingly 
uttering false testimony. Things had come to such a pass, 
that a Dioclides was crowned with the wealth bestowed 
upon public benefactors, and conducted in the chariot of 
honor to banquet in the Prytaneum ; although, even 
before he was unmasked, he had shown himself to be a 
man who let it depend entirely on the question of pecuni- 
ary profit, whether he should speak or remain silent. The 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 365 

sur-excited minds of the populace were no longer to be 
satisfied with ordinary trials ; in feverish excitement they 
followed the windings of a criminal justice working in the 
dark, in favor of which they became accustomed to sacri- 
fice the enjoyment of the most important of civic rights. 
Accusation and condemnation seemed to be identical 
Accordingly, by far the greater number of trials dealt 
with absent persons. The patrimony of ancient families 
was sold into strange hands ; while the large number of 
fugitives could not but serve to disclose, to the enemies 
lying in wait outside, the actual condition of Attic society. 
Subsequently, indeed, most of the exiles were reinstated 
in their property, but the ancient evils continued to exer- 
cise their effects ; a general feeling of mistrust and inse- 
curity remained ; and public confidence was permanently 
weakened by the fact, that, notwithstanding all the 
inquiries instituted, the mutilation of the Hermse remained 
for all time an unsolved enigma to the Athenians.* 

Resort w T as had to extraordinary mea- 
sures, in order at last to divert the atten- c The ! aw of 

' Syracosius. 

tion of the citizens from these matters, and 
in particular to force the comic poets to renounce their 
constant practice, and abstain from introducing upon the 
stage the events of the summer. Accordingly, about the 
season when the new comedies were prepared for the 
winter and spring festivals of Dionysus, a law was passed 
prohibiting the poets from making personal allusions to 
the events of the day. The mover of this law was a 
popular orator, Syracosius by name. Many might be 

* The trustworthiness of the information given by Andocides is 
doubted by Thuc. vi. 60. It seems probable that the mutilation of the 
Hermae was due to the Hetaories of Andocides and Euphiletus. The loc. 
class, as to the use made of the occurrence against Alcibiades is in Isocr. 

XVI. 347 : a-na-VTes iaaaw oti 6i& tous avrovs avSpa? i] Sr7jU.0Kpa.Tia KaTeXvOrj 

KauceZvos (Ale). e< t>)$ woAews e£enecrev. As to the admission of Dioclides ttf 
the Prytaneum, see Andoc. de myst. \ 45. 

366 History of Greece. t BooK IV 

anxious to prevent the same mire from being ever and 
ever again stirred up ; most of all, those whose evil con- 
science made them afraid of the ridicule and wrath of the 
poets. Thus the law of Syracosius also may with much 
probability be assumed to have mainly had for its authors 
those whose insidious intrigues had overthrown Alcibiades, 
and who, after accomplishing their end, were pre- 
eminently anxious to leave well alone what was past and 

It was therefore perceptible in all the 
Aves. 01. xci. three comedies acted upon the great Di- 
Marih ' 4U '^ on y sia ( M arch, B.C. 414, 01. xci. 2), that a 
restraint had been put upon the liberty of 
the stage ; and yet it was this season of suppression which 
produced the boldest and most joyous of all the flights of 
the Aristophanic muse, as if she had at this very time been 
desirous of showing that true art is able to triumph over 
all restrictions, and bears its liberty in itself as an inalien- 
able right. For the two other plays competing with his, 
the Night- Revellers (Comcustce), produced under the name 
of Amipsias, and the Hermit of Phrynichus, betrayed the 
wrath of the poets, w 7 ho against their will renounced their 
accustomed license. Phrynichus openly curses Syracosius 
for having deprived him of his best subject-matter, and the 
hero of his piece is a man of the stamp of Timon, at that 
time a well-known personage at Athens, a hater of human 
kind, full of a deep loathing of all civil society. The po- 
etic spirit of Aristophanes on the other hand soared in se- 
rene fancy above the troubles of the present, and in his 
Birds the Athenians beheld a city building itself up be- 
tween heaven and earth, a blissful New Athens, inaccessi- 
ble to the foe, innocent and secure, ruling the world and 
the gods at the same time ; for even the latter were obliged 
to acknowledge the new settlement, or have the heavily- 
laden smoke of sacrifice cut off from them. At the same 
time the cloud-city in the air is by no means wholly un* 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 367 

connected with the Athens of the day. For the two Athe- 
nians who emigrate in order to make their fortune amongst 
the Birds are unable to support any louger the state of 
things at home, in the so-called city of liberty, where no 
honest citizen is any longer safe against inquiries imperil- 
ling life and property, where in the streets and on the 
market he has to fear the runners of justice, and abroad 
on every coast the Salaminia. And in the establishment 
of the Birds' town good care is taken to exclude objection- 
able folk. For those who wish to force an entrance, and 
who belong to the class which at that time raised the loud- 
est clamor at Athens — manufacturers of laws, oracle-mon- 
gers, prophets, informers, commissaries of police, sophistic 
wind-bags, and the rest — are pitilessly refused admission, 
lest they should disturb the peace of the new city. Thus 
Aristophanes conjured up before the eye3 of his fellow- 
citizens a fantastic world glittering in a hundred colors, a 
world full of poetical beauty, which on the one hand had 
power once again to elevate and refresh the soul, but which 
on the other reflects in a faithful mirror the frivolous cha- 
racter of the Athenians, and chastises, by exposing its er- 
rors and defects, their social system.*' 

The recall of Alcibiades exercised a most 
baneful influence upon the progress of the a^ G war m 
war, for he found an opportunity of taking 
vengeance upon the Athenians at an extremely sensitive 
point. His penetrating glance had recognized the im- 

* As to tho law of Syracosius, cf. Schol. Ar. Av. 1297 ; Aristid. iii. p. 
444, Dd. The last Schol. is too confused to admit of any conclusion 
being drawn from it with regard to Alcibiades. For the different views 
of modern writers,see Hertzberg, p. 210. I incline to think the view of 
Droysen (Rh. Mus. iv. p. 59) correct; the chief anxiety of the oligarchs 
was, nine suajlagitia palam castigarentur (Cobet, Plat. Eel. 41). — The 
reproving tendency of the Aves has been very well brought out by Koch- 
ly, U. d. V. d. A. 1857. — As to the allusion to Nicias in the Amj)hiarau^ 
acted at the Lenaea of the same year, see Cobet, p. 41. 

368 History of Greece. [ b °ok iv. 

portance which could not fail to attach to the city of 
Messana (Zancle), on account of its situation and ex- 
cellent harbor, in any Sicilian war carried on upon a 
grand scale. The sound of Messana offered the most con- 
venient station for the fleet, which from this quarter could 
reach all the important coast-places of Sicily, control the 
importation of supplies, and observe the movements in 
progress in the neighboring cities of Italy. In short, 
Messana was the central position alone corresponding to 
the schemes of Alcibiades. The population was originally 
Ionic (p. 215) ; and even among the Dorian families of 
Messenian origin, settled here by Anaxilaus, a perceptible 
good-will existed towards the cause of the Athenians, 
particularly as Messana had herself had sufficient expe- 
rience of the rule of Syracuse. A considerable party had 
already been gained over to the side of the Athenians, 
and every preliminary measure had been taken by tho 
latter, in order, with the help of this party, to obtain 
possession of the city and its harbor, by which means the 
subsequent operations of the Athenians would have been 
furthered in an incalculable measure. Now, however, the 
very first proceeding of Alcibiades was to send informa- 
tion of the pro-Athenian intrigues to the Syracusan party 
at Messana, who on receiving these advices put to death 
the friends of Athens in the citv, and took the most vigo- 
rous measures for warding off attacks of the fleet. 

Furthermore, the removal of Alcibiades provoked much 
discontent in the army, aud gave a shock to the confidence 
of the troops of the Peloponnesians in particular, whose 
eyes had already during the delay at Athens been opened 
to a position of affairs in the state such as could not serve 
to encourage them. The councils of the army grew feeble 
and lax ; there was absent the personal animation pro 
ceeding from the one man, who contrived to communicate 
to those around him the feelings of self-consciousness and 
assurance of victory pervading himself. The supreme 

Chap, iv.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 369 

command of [he whole expedition was now in the hands 
of a general as to whom it was known, and daily became 
more evident, that he mistrusted the success of the under- 
taking. The plan of operations, commenced upon a 
grand scale and to a certain degree successfully, had to be 
relinquished ; and thus the precious time of three summer 
months was simply lost. For Nicias in the main resumed 
his original plan, proceeding with all possible caution, 
timidly keeping in view the original cause of the war 
(which cause had now in reality become a matter of utter 
indifference), and in accordance with his love of economy 
providing for the acquisition of pecuniary resources. He 
proceeded along the north coast to Egesta. On the way 
an attempt, was made to take possession of Him era, a 
place likely to be gained, on account of its mixed popu^ 
lation ; but the Athenians were refused admittance, and 
were only able to take the small town of Hyccara, which 
was at enmity with Egesta, and to sell its inhabitants into 
slavery. In Egesta itself Nicias managed to collect not 
more than thirty talents ; and thus the summer came to 
an end. What had been done amounted to nothing. 
The small successes actually obtained had been accompa- 
nied by deeds of cruelty, whose only effect could be to ex- 
asperate the Siceliotes ; all attempts of greater importance 
— in the last instance an attack upon Hybla, on the 
southern base of Mount iEtna — had resulted in failure. 
The consequence was a change of public 

Nicies be- 

feeling in the Sicilian cities, and particularly sieges Syracuse. 
at Syracuse, which very speedily made J, 1 *-^' 2 * ^' c * 
itself perceptible. The first stupefying fear 
of the approach of the hostile armada had been over- 
come ; and the mobility of mind peculiar to the Siceliotes 
now caused terror to change into contempt, and fear into 
audacity and insolence. Syracusan horsemen rode up to 
the gates of the camp of the Athenians, inquiring how 
they were satisfied with the island, where, as it appeared, 


370 History of Greece. W™* IV. 

it was their intention to settle as colonists. The position 
of Nicias was an exceedingly painful and difficult one. 
He saw that it was incumbent on him to strike a blow, in 
order to vindicate the honor of the Athenian arms and 
prevent an outbreak of discontent in the army ; he 
recognized the necessity of making an attack upon Syra- 
cuse, but he was at the same time fearful of approaching 
it, because the enemy's cavalry rendered every attempt at 
landing hazardous. He accordingly resorted to strata- 
gems and deceptions, less in conformity with his own 
method of making war than with the character of Alci- 
biades. A secret partisan of the Athenians contrived to 
delude the Syracusans into the belief, that by an attack 
wf the whole body of their cavalry they might make 
themselves masters of the ill-guarded camp of the Athe- 
nians. The Syracusans marched out, while Nicias simul- 
taneously, at night-time, sailed into the harbor of Syra- 
cuse. Next morning his army, to the surprise of the 
Syracusans, stood in the district of the Olympieum (p. 
!255), where an entrenched camp was pitched on the bank 
of the Anapus, before the cavalry had returned to the 
city.* But although the stratagem had been completely 
successful, and although the first battle between the Syra- 
cusans and Athenians ended in favor of the latter, whose 
military superiority was thus placed beyond doubt; yet 
the result of the whole enterprise amounted to nothing. 
Nicias designedly neglected the opportunity of taking 
possession of the treasures of the Olympieum, because he 
feared the wrath of the gods above all other things ; nor 
was he, when the winter approached, sufficiently daring to 
maintain his position, but only once more convinced 
himself, that a siege of Syracuse was impossible without 
cavalry and an ampler supply of money. An attempt to 
obtain possession of Messana before the commencement of 

*Thuc. vi. 65. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 371 

winter was equally unsuccessful, although in that city, 
even after the execution of the Attic party leaders, a part 
of the population rushed to arms in favor of the Athe- 
nians. For thirteen days the latter lay with their fleet 
before Messana, which was distracted by domestic broils, 
and were then forced by storm and want of provisions to 
quit the fair harbor without having achieved their object, 
and to establish their winter-quarters as best they could, 
half-way between Catana and Messana, near the city of 
Naxos (vol. i. p. 467). 

The failure of the attack upon Messana 
was equivalent to a victory for Syracuse. Change of po- 

-r» i t , i n pular feeling in 

But even the battle fought by the feyracu- Syracuse. 
sans in the immediate vicinity of their own 
city, though a defeat, was upon the whole advantageous 
to them in its results. For the stratagem employed by 
Nicias amounted to a confession of his own weakness. 
Moreover, the Syracusans had now had an opportunity of 
acquainting themselves with their own weak points, and, 
after having once seen the foe before their gates, had 
become more vigilant, united, active, and, above all, more 
open to the advice of those whose wisdom and experience 
enabled them to lead the community in seasons of danger. 
Thus Hermocrates' opportunity had once more arrived. 
Already, about the middle of summer, he had predicted 
all the events to be anticipated, and had urged the Syra- 
cusans to arm both by land and by sea, to seek for allies 
abroad, applying even to Carthage, and to re-unite the 
states of Sicily for the purpose of carrying on the war in 
common. He had even recommended, as the best plan, 
that of sending the entire fleet to meet the Athenians as 
far as the Iapygian promontory, there to prevent them 
from entering into the Sicilian waters, and thus if possible 
to ward off the whole war and all its troubles. Against 
this proposal Athenagoras, the leader of the popular 
party, had exerted his influence. For at Syracuse the 

372 History of Greece. LEook iv. 

opposition between the parties was such, that every pro- 
posal emanating from the one side was, as a matter of 
course, resisted by the other. Hermocrates had made no 
motion touching upon points of political differences, and 
yet he was attacked with savage vehemence by his oppo- 
nents. They declared this to be nothing but one of the 
ordinary intrigues of the nobles and rich, who, by means 
of false or exaggerated announcements, excited the people, 
in order thus to obtain an opportunity for satisfying their 
impatient ambition by high offices and extraordinary 

When the course of events with equally 
in power. Ol. incontestable force confuted and humiliated 
415 iiS ^' ° ^ e democratic P art y leaders and confirmed 
the predictions of Hermocrates, when the 
direct attack carried «out by Nicias removed all doubts as 
to the necessity of placing the government of the state in 
strong and firm hands, the Syracusans recognized the 
value of their great fellow-citizen, whom in ordinary times 
the noisy demagogues outclamored and calumniated, but 
whom it was ever found necessary to call to the helm when 
a tempest lowered. He alone in the populous city was a 
man, he was a statesman intimately acquainted with the 
strong and with the weak points of the Athenians ; a brave 
and sagacious general, and a leader in whom the other cities 
confided. Without Hermocrates, Sicily would have exactly 
corresponded to the picture which Alcibiades had sketched 
before the Attic assembly of the cities of Sicily, as unstable 
in themselves and discordant among one another. Her- 
mocrates was the most dangerous enemy of the Athenians 
in the island. Already on a previous occasion, as peace- 
maker at Gela, he had inflicted a defeat upon their policy ; 
he was their equal in word and deed, and their superior 
inasmuch as he w<is the champion of a good cause, and 
acted with the courage arising from a pure conscience. 
To him were in the first place due most important 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 373 

reforms in the army system. The democratic tendency 
had, from fear of the abuse of the power in a general's 
hand, given rise to the institution of a board of fifteen 
military commanders. Hermocrates, on the contrary, 
insisted on their number being limited to three, upon 
whom a larger amount of official authority was conferred. 
Their duty was to consist, during the winter months, in 
converting the citizens into a soldiery fit for active service, 
so as to be a match for the Athenians in equipment, 
discipline, and drill ; while the citizens, for their part, 
bound themselves by an oath not to hinder the generals in 
taking their measures according to the best of their judg- 
ment, so that their orders, when necessary, might be 
executed with rapidity and secrecy. Thus at Syracuse, as 
at Athens (vol. ii. p. 503), the increase of the authority of 
the generals operated as an antidote against the evils of 
the democratic constitution, and Hermocrates (who was 
elected to the generalship, together with Heraclides and 
Sicanus,) now assumed a position in the state comparable 
to that of Pericle3 at the commencement of the campaigns 
of Archidamus. 

Under the guidance of Hermocrates 

i n , i , Armaments 

measures were, above all, taken to enlarge f t ^ e syracu- 
and complete the fortifications of the citv. sans - ° Lxc ' 1 - 2 ' 

n ^ -i n i ( B " C - 415-14.) 

Syracuse was at that time composed of three 
towns — the island, Achradina, and Tyche (p. 207) ; to the 
south of Tyche lay the open suburb of Temenites, with 
the temple of Apollo in its centre. This suburb was now 
enclosed in the lines of the city fortifications, the south 
side being fortified along the border of the table-land, and 
the west side made secure by adding to the length of the 
walls of Tyche. Thus the entire inhabited table-land was 
now shut off against attacks from without, by means of a 
single line of walls ; it being thus rendered a far more 
difficult task for the enemy to approach the inner quar- 
ters of the city. To protect the sea-shore, two forts were 

374 History of Greece. [ Bo ° 5 Iv - 

built as outworks : one on the outer sea near Megara, the 
other near the Olympieum, on the border of the great 
harbor, a fortified station for the cavalry, who were from 
this point to command the low country on the banks of 
the Anapus. All points in the vicinity of the city, at 
which a landing could take place, were rendered inacces- 
sible by the ramming-in of palisades. Hereupon envoys 
were sent to Peloponnesus to establish an alliance with 
the cities there, several attempts previously made for the 
purpose having remained ineffectual. It was hoped, that 
Sparta might be induced to make an attack such as would 
prevent the Athenians from sending further support to 
their army in Sicily. Finally, it was endeavored to 
counteract the spread of the influence of Athens in Sicily, 
and Hermocrates himself undertook the most difficult 
task of this kind, proceeding as envoy to the neighbor of 
Syracuse, Camarina : which city the Athenians, appealing 
to a previous alliance in the time of Laches (p. 259), 
were attempting to gain over to their side. Hermocrates 
endeavored to convince the Cainarinseans of the secret 
lust of conquest animating the Athenians ; he declared 
Syracuse to be the one bulwark of the liberty of the Sice- 
liotes ; and was at all events so far successful, that the 
city, which above all others had good reason for distrust- 
ing Syracuse (p. 220), refused to join the Athenians.* 
Gela and Acragas also remained neutral. 

Such was the use made of the winter months. Syracuse 
now for the first time became a city capable of offering 
resistance to a siege, while the Athenians sat inactive in 
their camp, without advancing their interests, except by 
increasing the number of their adherents in the interior 
of the island through negotiations and violence, and by 
giving early orders among their original allies for all the 
materials requisite for conducting a great siege. But they 

*Thuc. vi. 75. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 375 

took other measures of a wider scope. They went so far 
as to send envoys even to Carthage and to the Tyrrhenians, 
with applications for their assistance as allies ; and thus 
the spring of 01. xci. 2 (b. c. 414) opened the new year 
of the war, amidst stronger and more general agitations 
of hope and fear than had accompanied the commence- 
ment of any previous year. From all the coasts of the 
Mediterranean the Greek states, as well as the neighboring 
barbarians, regarded with a steady gaze of attention the 
theatre of war on the east coast of Sicily. All were more 
or less nearly concerned in the result of the mighty strug- 
gle now imminent. 

Meanwhile in the Athenian camp the impatience of the 
army had risen to a climax. It was well known how the 
Syracusans from day to day increased their capability of 
resistance ; and yet the Athenian soldiers, while waiting 
for the arrival of the promised reinforcements, were 
obliged to content themselves with forays into the fields 
near Syracuse, and with conquering small pieces of land 
round the base of Mount JEtna, in order to supplement 
and secure the small territory previously obtained there ; 
and even in these attempts their success was very incom- 
plete, for among the mountain castles, which lay threaten- 
ing above their heads, they were, even after a succession 
of several attacks, unable to take Hybla and Inessa, Cen- 
toripse alone falling into their hands.* 

At last there arrived from Athens the 250 horsemen, 
who were mounted in Sicily, a squadron of 
bowmen on horseback, and 300 talents of t SS^S^SL 
silver for the military chest. As it was xci. 2. (b. c. 
possible, with the aid of the allies, to in- P rin s- 

crease the numbers of the cavalry to 650 horse, the army 
hereupon (towards the commencement of the summer) 

* As to the forts at the base of iEtna, see J. Schubring in Zeitchor,/. 
allg. Erdk. xvii. g. 451. 

376 History of Oreece. [Boo* IV. 

started in fall force on its march against Syracuse. For- 
tunately, there now at all events no longer existed any 
doubt as to the object in view ; there could no more be 
any question as to different plans of operations. The 
object of the Athenian army was to employ its whole 
strength for the purpose of utterly overwhelming Syra- 
cuse ; and thus it was well, that by the side of Nicias 
stood so brave and daring a soldier as Lamachus. 

The generals were kept fully informed by their friends 
at Syracuse of everything which had been done there, as 
well as of everything which had been omitted ; they were 
acquainted with the weak points in the situation of the 
city, which, notwithstanding all its advantages, labored 
under the one great defect of being extremely decen- 
tralized and difficult to command at a glance. The in- 
crease in the numbers of the population had led to a 
gradual accumulation of inhabitants on the terraced 
height, no other extension of the city being possible. 
The terrace in question stretches as one monotonous 
plateau to so great a distance to the west, that there was 
in this instance no question of natural boundaries to the 
city, such as the Greeks everywhere else endeavored to 
establish. The entire division of the table-land outside 
the limits of the city bore the name of Epipolse ; this was 
the western portion of the triangular terrace, which con- 
verges to a point, and extends into the country in a cunei- 
form shape from the direction of Achradina ; while 
Euryalus formed the apex of this vast triangle, which 
ought properly to have constituted the end point of the 
circumvallation of the city. The Syracusans were alive 
to the danger which would inevitably threaten them, if 
these localities, together with their eminences towering 
above the city, and with the conduits supplying it with 
water, fell into the enemy's hands. They remembered 
how already, on a former occasion, the inner city had 
been reduced by a force occupying the same position 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 377 

(p. 261). But, since it was impossible to extend the for- 
tifications as far as Euryalus, the Syracusans contented 
themselves with closing, as far as possible, all means of 
access ; and moreover held in readiness against any attack 
upon Epipolse light-armed troops for the defence of the 
threatened points. It is, however, incomprehensible how 
the Syracusans should have apprehended danger only 
from the side of the harbor, notwithstanding that the 
heights of Epipolse on the other side lay in still closer 
proximity to the sea, which moreover in this quarter forms 
a crescent-shaped bay, open to the east, but protected on 
the north side by a rocky peninsula named Thapsus. 

It was, therefore, a happy thought on the part of the 
Attic generals, to constitute this bay the 
basis of their operations. They unex- Epipolse. 01. 
pectedly land at this point, and disembark J?V\ 2, T ^ B-c * 
troops in the middle of the bay near Leon. 
These troops at a rapid pace climb the summits of Epipolse, 
distant from them only 2,000 feet if measured by a straight 
line, and take possession of these heights, while the Syra- 
cusan troops charged with their defence, and commanded 
by Diomilus, an Andrian refugee, are under arms on the 
bank of the Anapus. As soon as the troops of Diomilus 
learn what has occurred, they immediately hurry to the 
spot ; but, having to run up-hill for more than half an 
hour's distance, arrive at the summit breathless and in 
disorder, and are in consequence beaten back with great 
loss. The Athenians remain masters of the height : they 
fortify Labdalum, a place on the north rim of Epipolae 
above Leon, whence a view was to be obtained over the 
bays of Thapsus and Megara ; they establish their head- 
quarters in Labdalum ; and at the same time build a for- 
tified station for their fleet on the peninsula of Thapsus, 
whose narrow isthmus they close up towards the land, at 
the same time levelling the road which connects in the 
shortest line the shore and the height. 

378 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

After they had secured to themselves an 

Construction . ■, , •<• i -i i -i i 

of Fort Syce impregnable position above, and had made 
and the bifur- themselves masters of the wide locality of 

rtofp "Willis 

Epipolse, from the prominent points of which 
they could command a view of the entire triangle of the 
terrace, including both city and suburb, towards the sea 
on either side, they without further delay proceeded to 
establish the blockade itself. For this purpose they built, 
to the south of Labdalum, in the middle of the terrace 
(i. e.,at an equal distance from its north and south rim, 
from the great harbor and the bay cf Thapsus), on a spot 
deriving from its fig-trees the name of Syce, a circular 
fort, with out-works of considerable strength. They thus 
obtained a strong position in closer proximity to the city, 
which was at the same time to constitute the centre of the 
line of blockade. The Athenians now had an opportunity 
of giving splendid proof of their efficiency and skill. The 
fortress rose suddenly from the ground, so as to fill the 
Syracusans with astonishment and terror; all their attacks 
were beaten back, and before they were prepared, the first 
line of bifurcate walls was in progress, running out from 
the round fort in a north-easterly direction, straight across 
the ridge of Epipolse, being designed thus to extend as far 
as the outer sea. The erection of this line of wall was 
simultaneously carried on at either end ; at the one by the 
garrison of Epipolse, at the other by the ships' crews. 

Hereupon the Syracusans changed their 
Dangerous pl an f operations. They relinquished their 

situation of the lt . . . . ., n -, -, 

Syracusans. attempts to resist in the open held an 
enemy, who had on his side preponderating 
advantages of position and experience, and determined to 
erect counter-walls, to run across the Athenian lines of 
circumvallation, and thus prevent the completion of the 
blockade. They accordingly cut down the olive-trees in 
the suburb of Temenites, and, endeavoring to emulate the 
skill of the Athenians, inserted a passage in the gaps of 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 379 

the enemy's works. The Athenians allowed them to pro- 
ceed undisturbed, and then evinced the superiority of their 
own skill by destroying all the counter-works so labo- 
riously erected. Having thus at this point overcome all 
difficulties, and removed all fear of danger, they con- 
sidered it advisable, before completing the one line of the 
bifurcate walls, to commence building the second, which 
it was necessary to conduct towards the south from the 
central fort, so as to connect it with the shore in the 
harbor. This task was, however, by far more difficult of 
execution, because the Athenians were here more exposed 
to the attacks of the Syracusans, and had to build first on 
a rocky declivity, and then through a deep morass. 
Before the Athenians had carried their works across, the 
Syracusans had already crossed the line of blockade with 
a cross wall. Hereupon the Athenians sent their fleet 
from the outer sea round Achradina and Ortygia into the 
harbor, in order to have their ships at hand, and then, 
effecting a passage across the morass by means of broad 
planks of wood and wings of doors, made an attack upon 
the enemy's counterwork. This they destroyed, and 
again, notwithstanding the desperate bravery displayed by 
the Syracusans, remained the victors in every contest. 
Although Lamachus fell in these conflicts, and Nicias 
himself was forced by sickness to remain behind in the 
round fort, yet the success of the Athenians was complete; 
so that there seemed no doubt of their being able to estab- 
lish an unbroken blockade, and thus bring about the fall 
of Syracuse; since even aid from abroad, if it should 
arrive so late, would then be of no avail. 

The report of this condition of affairs spread through 
Sicily and Italy. Supplies of provisions and auxiliaries 
arrived in increased numbers in the Athenian camp ; even 
the Tyrrhenians, who wished to share in the overthrow of 
their ancient foe, sent three fifty-oared vessels to join the 
Attic fleet. In Syracuse, on the other hand, discourage- 

380 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

merit prevailed ; all further attempts at preventing the 
completion of the blockade were relinquished, and a 
scarcity of the necessaries of life made itself perceptible. 
The aqueducts were for the most part in the hands of the 
Athenians, who used them for their own purposes, and 
diverted the drinking-water from its course towards the 
city. The population of Syracuse was ill-adapted for sub- 
mitting to deprivations ; capitulation began to be openly 
talked of, and negotiations were opened with Nicias. 

The democrats took advantage of this state of affairs 
to overthrow Hermocrates ; three new generals were 
nominated, Heraclides alone among the former generals 
remaining in office. Thus the Syracusans in their hour 
of danger deprived themselves of the only support which 
remained to them. Exasperation, distrust, and despair 
increased in the city ; and her ruin seemed inevitable.* 

In the last hour, after Hermocrates had already retired, 
and after all resources in the city itself had come to an 
end, aid unexpectedly offered itself from without. A 
change occurred in the position of the combatants — a 
change occasioned by Alcibiades. 

The crew of the Salaminia (p. 360) 

AlciWade^ 6 ° f wmcn na( ^ been commissioned with his 
recall, had orders to treat him with every 
possible consideration, in order not to exasperate the 
troops. Lest he should appear to be held as a prisoner, 
he was to follow on his own vessel. It thus very naturally 
suggested itself to him not to follow at all. And such 

* Capture of Epipolae : Thuc. vi. 97. As to Labdalum and Syce, v 
Schubring, d. Bew&ss. v. Syractis (Philol. xxii. p. 629) ; as to Leon, ib. 
p. 630; as to the use made by the Athenians of the aqueducts, ib. p. 
629. With regard to the fact of the latter having been filled up with 
earth or diverted into another course, see Thuc. vi. 100 : Sie4>eeipav tous 
oxctovs. For this reason the aqueducts were subsequently entirely 
included in the oity walls. Schubring, «. «. p. 630. 

chap, iv.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 381 

was very possibly the object of his enemies themselves. 
Id their vehemence they had undermined the very founda- 
tions of the state, reckless as to any misery which might 
thence accrue to guilty or to innocent, so long as they 
brought about the removal of the hated demagogue. 
They would most fully compass their end if he did not 
return at all ; for his presence might exercise an effect on 
which it was impossible to calculate. Thus are to be 
explained the instructions given to the Salaminia, doubt- 
less drawn up by the commission of inquiry under the 
influence of Pisancler. Alcibiades, for his part, was not 
inclined to risk his life at Athens. His conscience was 
not clear, and he was deprived of the support of his 
adherents. Accordingly, he speedily determined upon his 
course of action. He resolved to take vengeance for the 
insidious malignity of his enemies, who far surpassed him 
in all evil devices, to chastise the contemptible fickleness 
of the multitude, and at the same time to give a new 
proof of his own superiority, and to show how victory 
passed to whatever side he joined. Moreover, this 
appeared to be the only method by which he might at 
last in his native city itself compass his ultimate objects. 
Athens was to experience the fearful significance of the 
enmity of Alcibiades, in order that afterwards, amidst the 
bitter sufferings she had brought upon herself, she might 
more completely than ever throw herself into his arms. 
Thus he commenced his awful work, keeping in view no 
other but his personal interests, and careless whether his 
conduct might ruin his native city, and whether the 
wounds dealt her by him were capable, or incapable, of 
being healed. He deemed himself powerful enough to 
make the fate of the Greek states depend upon himself 

*Grote (vii. 288) also considers that the flight of Alcibiades was 
in accordance with the wishes of his enemies. 

382 History of Greece. [ BooK Iv - 

From Thurii, whither he had withdrawn 
Sptrta/oLxcL himself from the eyes of the crew of the 
2. (b.c. 414.) Salaminia, Alcibiades passed to the Pelo- 
ponnesus, and paid a visit to Elis and 
Argos. In the latter place the news reached him of his 
condemnation to death at Athens. A homeless outlaw, 
despoiled of all his possessions, and, like Themistocles of 
old, pursued by Attic emissaries who demanded his sur- 
render, he resolved to pass over to the enemies of his 
native city, amongst whom he might soonest hope to find 
personal security and opportunity for revenge. Accord- 
ingly, after, by virtue of his ancient relations of mutual 
hospitality (p. 303), securing a safe conduct to Sparta, he 
reached the latter city during the winter, about the same 
time that the maritime expedition of the Athenians had 
called forth the greatest excitement among the Peloponne- 
sian states, when the envoys of the Syracusans arrived 
from Corinth, and, eagerly supported by the Corinthians, 
demanded active aid. Thus Sparta stood, as she had 
eighteen years before, at the threshold of a war, now, as 
then, urged on by her allies : herself now, as then, hesitat- 
ing and doubtful. The authorities of the state were 
crippled by their ancient aversion from entering upon 
undertakings of a wide scope; and wished to content 
themselves with empty embassies. 

Alcibiades was the very man to rouse the Spartans from 
their remissness by the fire of his eloquence, to inflame 
their passions and unchain their powers of action. The 
admirable elasticity of his mind soon enabled him to over- 
come all the obstacles in the way of his acquiring influence 
at Sparta. He nattered the people, as well as the in- 
dividual personages of note ; he declared his allegiance 
to the principles of Sparta, and adapted himself to the 
usages of life prevailing there. Like Themistocles among 
the Persians, so Alcibiades among the Lacedaemonians 
appealed to the good offices which he had performed for 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 383 

them in Athens, especially with regard to the prisoners 
from Pylus. He declared that he had left no means un- 
tried towards reviving the ancient relations of mutual 
hospitality between his house and Sparta, while the latter 
had deeply wounded his feelings by preferring Nicias to 
him, and had thus forced him to become her enemy. As 
to his democratic opinions, he had merely adopted the 
principles which happened to be constitutional at Athens ; 
it was unnecessary for him to state his actual low opinion 
of their value ; and, indeed, he had always to the best of 
his power opposed the evils of mob-rule. Thus he con- 
trived to justify his political principles no less than his 
previous conduct before the Spartans: they were as- 
tonished at his wondrous gifts, believed a reconciliation 
between him and his native city to be an impossibility, 
and evinced so strong a confidence in him, that in the 
popular assembly, which was to decide upon the answer to 
be given to the Syracuso-Corinthian embassy, he was 
allowed to make his appearance as a public speaker and 
counsellor of the state. 

Hereupon he revealed all the schemes of the war party, 
the same which he had himself advocated in every way at 
Athens. Not Syracuse, he declared, was the real object 
of the present campaign, but Sparta. Therefore the im- 
minent fall of Syracuse, notwithstanding the remoteness 
of the scene of war, amounted to a direct danger for 
Sparta herself. Accordingly, no delay should be allowed 
to intervene, before, on the one hand, troops were de- 
spatched to Sicily, and above all, an experienced com- 
mander capable of organizing the resistance of the be- 
sieged ; and before, on the other hand, a direct attack was 
made upon Athens itself, in order to shake the power of 
the enemy in his own land : and for this purpose he de- 
clared he could give them no better advice than this — to 
establish a fortified military position in Attica. Finalty, 
he offered personally to undertake any service, however 

384 History of Greece. , [Book IV. 

dangerous, upon which the Lacedaemonians would employ 

him. There could surely be no doubt that no man was 

better capable than himself of inflicting damage upon the 

Athenians ; and the Spartans might be equally certain of 

his sincere wish to inflict such damage. " As long," he 

frankly avowed, " as I could live and act without personal 

danger as a citizen in my native city, I loved her ; but the 

malignity of my enemies there has sundered all bonds of 

affection ; and the only means left to me at the present 

moment of evincing my love towards my native soil is by 

attempting, in any way open to me, to recover my lost 

home." The only interpretation which the Spartans could 

put upon this avowal was, that the sole object of Alcibiades 

was, in conjunction with them, to make himself master of 


The first result of this speech was the 

Gylippus sent . _ . 

to Syracuse. 01. selection oi the most efficient general whom 
xc. 2. (b.c. 415.) gp ar t a possessed since the death of Brasidas, 
for the purpose of bringing aid to the be- 
sieged Syracusans. This was Gylippus, the son of Clean- 
dridas ; nor could a happier choice have been made. 
Gylippus was one of the Spartans of the ancient stamp, 
who fully believed that one man such as they was worth 
more than a whole army, and was born for command and 
assured of victory. He had at the same time advanced 
with his times, being active, enterprising, and versatile; 
and was, furthermore, well acquainted with the state of 
affairs beyond the sea, his father having lived as an exile 
at Thurii. Gylippus gave orders to the Corinthian 
triremes, which were ready for sailing, to proceed to 
Asine (vol. i., p. 231). In the end of May he set sail 
with four ships ; in June he was off Leucas, where the 
Corinthian fleet was to join him. His prospect of success 
was poor. For, the nearer he approached to the scene of 
war, the more decided news he received of the hopeless 
situation of the Syracusans. Already it seemed as if 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 385 

Sicily must be given up altogether, and as if an attempt 
ought merely to be made to save Italy; for which pur- 
pose Gylippus resolved to advance before the rest of the 
fleet with his four ships. 

He landed at Tarentum, and next sought to make use 
of his connections at Thurii, so as to induce this city to 
quit the Attic alliance, and to establish a combination 
against the Athenians in Italy. But the Thuriatae re- 
mained true to the Athenians, to whom they even speedily 
communicated the news of the arrival of the Pelopon- 
nesian squadron. Gylippus himself was forced by a 
violent storm to put back to Tarentum, where he had to 
wait weeks for the repair of his ships. 

Such was the impotent commencement of the whole 
enterprise. But soon a thorough change occurred. The 
Athenians, deeming themselves absolute masters of the 
sea, had done nothing to guard the entrances to the 
Sicilian waters. They now reaped the consequences of 
having omitted to take possession of Messana, the key 
of the Sicilian sound, to which Alcibiades had from the 
first directed his attention (p. 371). Nicias, indeed, im- 
mediately on receiving this communication of the Thuriatae, 
despatched four triremes to Rhegium ; but they came too 
late. For, at Locri, Gylippus had received his first more 
definite information as to the actual state of affairs at 
Syracuse ; and as soon as he had assured himself that the 
blockade of the city was not as yet thoroughly complete, 
he altered his plans, and finding the sound of Messana 
still open, sailed along the north . coast and landed un- 
hindered at Himera. As soon as he placed his foot on 
Sicilian soil, the course of the entire war changed.* 

Gylippus was accompanied by not more than 700 

* Alcibiades in Sparta : Hertzberg, pp. 220-251. Despatch of Gylip- 
pus : Thuc. vi. 93. 


386 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

Arrival of Gy- soldiers. But this small force, which it 
lippus at Syra- wou ld have been easy to annihilate on 
(b. c. 314.) the Italian coast, now rapidly increased ; 

June * more than 2,000 heavy and light-armed 

troops being collected from Gela, Selinus, and the in- 
terior of the island, and cavalry obtained. Thus, 
Gylippus unexpectedly made his appearance in the 
rear of the besieged city, which had been already in- 
formed through the Corinthian Gongylus of the approach 
of aid, and derived fresh encouragement from the news, 
had broken off all negotiations of the enemy. While the 
Athenians were completing the erection of the south line 
of circumvallation at the harbor, Gylippus, unmolested 
by them, crossed the heights of Epipolse, and through the 
gap in the north wall effected his entrance into Syracuse, 
whose inhabitants readily entrusted him with the com- 
mand of all their forces and materials of war. 

The Athenians still continued to depend upon their 
lines of circumvallation, now all but complete, and per- 
haps even hoped that the large number of troops now in 
Syracuse would only serve to increase the sufferings of 
the besieged. But soon, to their terror, they became 
aware of the spirit now prevailing among the citizens. 
Suddenly an army in complete battle-array once more 
advanced against their lines ; and, instead of the envoys 
who had a few weeks ago arrived in the camp to negotiate 
a surrender, a herald now made his appearance with the 
offer of a truce, if the Athenians would, within the space 
of five days, take their departure from Sicily with their 
army and fleet. Thus Gylippus endeavored to convert 
the fears of the citizens into ardent assurance of victory. 
The combatants changed characters ; the Athenians were 
driven back upon the defensive, while the Syracusans, by 
a constant repetition of attacks, determined the subse= 
quent course of the contest. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 387 

The very first enterprise of Gylippus en- 
tailed momentous consequences. He marched Surprise of 
out from Tyche, and passed under the north 
rim of the mountain-terrace as far as the base of the Lab- 
dalum, which, as we have seen, lay on its very border. 
He thus succeeded in approaching, unobserved by the 
Athenians. He then suddenly charged the height and 
mounted the walls of the entrenchment ; the garrison was 
cut down ; the position, by the fortification of which the 
Athenians had so successfully opened the entire siege, was 
now in the hands of the Syracusans, who were thus firmly 
established by the side of the Athenians on Epipolse. 

The surprise of Labdalum greatly facilitated the execu- 
tion of the next measure necessary. A wall was built 
across the ridge of Epipolse, in the direction of Euryalus, 
to cut across the line of circumvallation, and thus prevent 
the completion of the wall which the Athenians had left 
unfinished, intending in the first place to complete the 
south line (p. 379). The materials with which they were 
about to resume the building lay ready for use. At 
this point the conflict now concentrated itself; for it was 
necessary for the Syracusans to conquer by force of arms 
the position along which they intended to erect their cross 
wall. In the first hand-to-hand conflict Gylippus is driven 
back. In order to prevent the discouragement of the 
troops, he declares his failure to be the result of his faulty 
directions, the cavalry and bowmen having been unable 
to act in the confined space between the fortifications. He 
orders another attack in a more open country ; the Athe- 
nians are defeated and quit the field ; and in the same 
night the wall of the besieged is constructed, so as to reach 
beyond the lines of the Athenians. Hereby the blockade 
of the city, which had been all but complete, was hence- 
forth rendered impossible. The Athenians were now re- 
stricted to the round fort and to the double lines of wall 
extending thence to the harbor. Already they were the 

388 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

besieged rather than the besiegers ; they had lost their con- 
fidence in fighting on land ; and Nicias now determined 
upon new measures, which already pointed to a wish, 
rather of saving his army than of obtaining the victory. 
He directed his principal attention to the fleet. 

Hitherto, the Attic ships had lain in the 
The Atheni- innermost part of the great harbor, where 

ans move their . -i-i-it n t, i-it 

head-quarters the double line of walls touched the shore. 
to piemmyrium. Tne disadvantage of this position was, that 
the ships could not be quickly enough at hand if there 
was anything to be done outside the harbor. But this was 
now of increased importance, since, in spite of the guard- 
ships sent out by the Athenians, twelve Corinthian tri- 
remes had succeeded in effecting an entrance. Their crews 
had already aided most effectively in the construction of 
the wall on Epipolse, which Gylippus had sagaciously di- 
rected in such a manner as by a long line of fortifications 
entirely to cut off the Athenians from the northern part 
of the plateau. It was to be foreseen, that after the com- 
pletion of these works, and the establishment of a perfect 
line of defence on the land side, the harbor itself must be- 
come the scene of all further conflicts. Accordingly, Ni- 
cias was,above,all anxious to hold possession of the en- 
trance ; and therefore resolved to fortify the rocky pro- 
montory of Piemmyrium, which lay directly opposite to 
Ortygia, and commanded the entrance from the south. To 
this point he removed his principal magazines and the 
greater part of his fleet ; and from this position he was 
able to blockade the landing-places of Syracuse, while he 
retained a secure communication with the open sea. But 
even these new head-quarters of the Attic forces were not 
without important drawbacks, particularly that of want 
of water, which forced the crews to travel long distances 
Difficulties of for obtaining the necessary supply, exposing 

Nicias. 01. xci. them at the same time to the attacks of the 
3. (b.c. 414). , . 

Autumn. enemy s cavalry, lhis circumstance was 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 389 

also taken advantage of by some to desert to the enemy j 
for there were among the crews many who had been 
pressed into the service, and who gladly availed themselves 
of the opportunity to escape from their forced duties. 
Many, again, had only joined the expedition as adven- 
turers, in order to make their fortunes in a foreign land; 
and, when matters took a serious turn, were little inclined 
to submit to hardships and dangers. Least trustworthy 
of all were the troops levied in Sicily. Thus it came to 
pass, that the numbers of the Athenians underwent a dan- 
gerous diminution ; while their enemies, on the other hand, 
were reinforced on all sides. For, as soon as he could be 
spared from Syracuse, Oylippus had made a tour in per- 
son through the cities of the island, and, wdth the excep- 
tion of those members of the confederation who were too 
weak to venture upon resistance, had united all Sicily in a 
combined armament against Athens. Measures were also 
taken to form a Sicilian navy, for which the Peloponne- 
sian squadron formed a nucleus ; these were triremes newly 
equipped, and manned by crews eager for war : while the 
Attic vessels, it being impossible to draw them up on land, 
began to rot and leak ; there was an absence of the requi- 
site arrangements for effecting the necessary repairs, and 
discipline had become relaxed, because the ships had for 
the most part lain inactive in the harbor. Moreover, un- 
der present circumstances, it was impossible for the Athe- 
nians to undertake anything calculated to alter their posi- 
tion, and to revive confidence in their ranks. So large a 
number of soldiers was needed for occupying the discursive 
line of fortifications, part of w T hich had now become utterly 
useless, that there were no troops at hand for striking a 
blow against the Syracusans and their works. At the 
same time the enemy's cavalry, hovering round the Attic 
camps, rendered all freedom of movement impossible, and 
incessantly disturbed the Athenians, who — and this was 
the most dangerous sign of all — saw from Plemmyrium 

90 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

how the vessels of Ortygia were unceasingly engaged in 
exercising and preparing themselves for war. The situa- 
tion of the Athenians accordingly became more perilous 
from day to day, and it was on Nicias that the whole of 
the responsibility rested — on Nicias, who was worse adapted 
than any other man for reviving the courage of his troops, 
since he personally took the gloomiest view possible of 
everything ; being by nature incapable of pitting himself 
against a bold and insolent adversary, who had all the ad- 
vantages belonging to the offensive ; and moreover dis- 
quieted by the consciousness that he had himself contri- 
buted to bring the army into its present difficulties, and 
finally, in addition, tormented by a painful complaint in 
the kidneys, which from time to time entirely prevented 
him from performing the duties of commander-in-chief. 
Under these circumstances, he would, doubtless, have per- 
sonally preferred to raise the siege as soon as possible, and 
the sooner the better ; but he dared not take upon himself 
the responsibility of such a step : he lacked the necessary 
resolution and power of self-denial for acting up to the de- 
mands of the situation, according to the best of his judg- 
ment, and without reference to his own person. There ac- 
cordingly remained for him nothing but to send a perfectly 
plain and unvarnished report of the situation to Athens, 
and to leave it to the citizens, either to recall the fleet or 
to furnish forth another armament, equal in size and equip- 
ment to the first, in order, as it were, to begin the war over 
again. But, in any case, he asked to be relieved of his of- 
fice of general, which, he declared, ought 
Nicias' letter to be filled by one in the full vigor of health 
people. and strength. These views he explained in 

an autograph letter of considerable length 
lest perchance the special messengers despatched by him 
should, from fear of bearing so unwelcome a message, soften 
down the worst, or pass it over in silence. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 391 

The letter arrived in Athens about the 

.,,,«,.. i . t t Its reception. 

middle of the winter ; but it produced a to- 
tally different effect from that intended by Nicias. For 
though the citizens were deeply affected by the gloomy 
news contained in the letter, yet they were unanimously 
agreed not to throw up the war. And, as far as is known, 
no manifestation of anger took place against the general, 
although the blame attaching to his conduct cannot have 
escaped recognition. The trust reposed in his personal 
character remained unshaken ; and his wishes were only 
in so far acceded to, that two other generals, Menander 
and Euthydemus, were joined in the command with him. 
The citizens displayed a spirit worthy of Athens' most 
glorious age, a resolute determination of making any sac- 
rifice in order to preserve the name of Athens from dis- 
grace, and to prevent her insidious enemies from rejoicing 
at her humiliation.* 

Momentous events filled the winter preced- 
ing the ninth year of the war. All the New arma- 

n ,.,, . . . ,, n , ments at Athens. 

iorces still existing in the Greek states were 
set in motion on either side. The war in Sicily was car- 
ried on with growing ardor ; and the war at home once 
more burst out into flames. The time had arrived for 
both fires to unite into one conflagration, which simulta- 
neously took hold of all the lands of Greece, both in the 
mother-country and the colonies, both in the east and the 
west ; so that all previous struggles seemed to have merely 
been a prelude to this war. For the more that all re- 
sources were now unfolded by both land and sea, the more 
clearly was it felt, that the end of this war could not be 
another rotten peace, but that it must decide the struggle 
once for all. Levies were held in the whole of Pelopon- 

* Gylippus in Sicily : Thuc. vii. 4. Fall of Labdalum, to. 3. Niciaa 
in Plemmyrium : to. 1—6; Plut. Nic. 19; Letter of Nicias; Thuc viL 
8, 10-15. 

392 History of Greece. t BoOK IV - 

nesus, in order to attack Athens both at home and in 
Sicily ; and a new fleet was equipped at Corinth. From 
Athens the vessels of war, with money and troops under 
Eurymedon, immediately sailed to Syracuse, in order to 
encourage the army there ; while Demosthenes w T as com- 
missioned to prepare the most comprehensive armaments 
for the spring. Nor were these to be employed against 
Syracuse alone : for a separate fleet of twenty ships was 
destined for Naupactus, to waylay the Corinthians on their 
passage to Sicily ; while yet another fleet of thirty ships 
was to re-open the war on the Peloponnesian coasts. 

In the same winter months, however, Gylippus too had 
been busily at work. As soon as he perceived that the 
Athenians were resolved to continue the struggle, he had 
tried all possible means for annihilating Nicias before the 
arrival of the new army ; and in truth Demosthenes had 
very nearly arrived too late. 

As the Sicilian war in so many points 
Gylippus per- presents a recurrence of previous situations 

suadcs theSyra- , 

cusans to fight oi the war in the mother-country, so this 
the Athenians wag now a g am ^he case with reference to 

by sea. G 

the mutual attitude of the two armies. The 
Syracusans were the victorious land-force, the Athenians 
the naval power which controlled the harbor and the 
open sea. Hence nothing decisive could take place, unless 
the Syracusans summoned up courage to meet their foes 
by water. In encouraging the citizens to make this at- 
tempt, Hermocrates took the lead, who by the side of 
Gylippus had recovered his pristine authority. He de- 
monstrated to his fellow-citizens, how the Athenians them- 
selves had by the dangers of their country been converted 
from a people of landsmen into one of mariners ; and thus 
the Syracusans also, even at the risk of first meeting with 
reverses, must pit themselves against the Athenians in 
naval warfare, and re-conquer their waters out of the 
enemy's hands. The Corinthian mariners acted as in- 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 393 

structors, and the Syracusans had themselves retained, 
from the times of the Tyrants, nautical skill, as well as 
various material structures, of which they now took ad- 
vantage. Fj^r it is probable, that already Gelo had, 
besides the great harbor, also made use of the small bay 
situate on the outer side of the isthmus of Ortygia, and had 
here, as well as there, constructed an arsenal and docks. 

The small bay in question is naturally ill-adapted for 
use, being shallow and open to the east ; but a double 
harbor with separate entrances in any case presented an 
uncommon advantage for a maritime city ; and at the 
present time the small harbor offered special advantages, 
lying as it did in a situation well protected by the city, 
and further removed from the ken of the Athenians. 
Building and drilling, however, went on at the same time 
in the great harbor; and thus the Syracusans were able, 
even before the arrival of Demosthenes, to commence open 
warfare by sea against the Athenians. One 
morning five-and-thirty ships broke forth , First naval 

i i n ip n i battle. 

from the great, and nve-and-iorty from the 

small, harbor, in order to make a combined Defeat of tne 

' ' < Syracusans. 

attack upon Plemmyrium. The Athenians 
were delighted at last to have an opportunity of open 
battle, and defeated the enemy's vessels, which in number 
surpassed their own, in the channel, inflicting great loss 
upon them. But Gylippus had by no means allowed the 
6uccess of his plans to depend upon this naval battle, 
which merely formed one part of his system of attack. In 
the previous night he had himself, accompanied by a band 
of followers, secretly skirted the camp of the Athenians on 
the Anapus, and from the direction of the Olympieum ap- 
proached the naval station of the Athenians. 

T ,, , „ . . l • i ,i Capture of the 

In the same hours ot morning m which the nava i station of 
unexpected sea-fight, as he might presume, * h ® Athenians 
was engaging the attention of the garrison 
of Plemmyrium, he mounted the walls from the land side; 


394 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

and the naval station, together with considerable supplies 
of money and materials of war, fell into the hands of the 

This event produced an immediate change in the course 
of the war. The naval victory of the Athenians had been 
converted into a defeat. The Attic fleet was forced to re- 
turn again to its old station in the innermost part of the 
great harbor ; and, as the entrance to the latter was in the 
hands of the enemy, Athenian ships were now reduced to 
the alternative of passing out secretly and, in order to 
reach the open sea, unobserved, or of fighting their way 
out. The Syracusans, on the other hand, now felt them- 
selves masters of their own harbor; their confidence in- 
creased, now that they had once, although unsuccessfully, 
measured themselves with the enemy's ships. They cruised 
boldly in various directions in the sea without, captured 
Attic transports, destroyed Attic materials and supplies 
of war on the Italian coasts, until the Athenians were no 
longer masters even of the waters outside the harbor. 

Gylippus would never allow the Syra- 

Second naval . _ . . 

battle. 01. xoi. cusans to rest satisfied with the successes 
3. (b.c. 413.) Stained by them. Each piece of experi- 
ence gained was used as a suggestion for 
more effective methods of attack ; every victory was 
speedily proclaimed in the surrounding country, in order 
to incite the cities which yet held aloof, to take 
part in the spoils of victory awaiting them. Auxiliaries 
arrived from Acragas, from Gela, and even from Camarina. 
Some of these were indeed destroyed by means of a suc- 
cessful surprise, conducted by the auxiliaries of the Athe- 
nians in Sicily ; and thus the death-blow preparing against 
the forces of Nicias was momentarily delayed and crippled. 
Invention of Yet before the new fleet arrived, a naval 

fe?t tfthe Mhe" battle was & u gK for which the Syracusans 
nians. had prepared by altering the construction 

* Thuc. vii. 21-25. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 395 

of their vessels. Ails ton, a Corinthian steersman, 
had introduced an innovation, which his fellow-citizens 
had employed in their most recent armaments, and 
which was particularly appropriate in the present lo- 
cality for giving force and impetus of attack to the Co- 
rintho-Sicilian ships in the confined waters of the harbor, 
where the Athenians had no opportunity of displaying 
their skill in advancing, and retreating, and making rapid 
turns during the battle. Ariston shortened the prows of 
the ships, making them stronger and heavier, and adding, 
on both the right and the left side, protruding beam-ends 
of great thickness, which had a powerful support in the 
hull of the vessel. By this means the Saracusans were 
enabled to advance upon the enemy's ships, and to smash 
the feebler sides of the latter by the mere force of the im- 
pulse. Nicias had good reason for resisting the proposal 
of giving battle; but his new colleagues (p. 391) displayed 
a very unreasonable ambition : they were eager to accom- 
plish some glorious achievement before the arrival of De- 
mosthenes; and thus it came to pass, that the Athenians 
advanced under the most unfavorable circumstances from 
their station, and, immediately in front of it, suffered a 
complete defeat. Hereupon the confidence of the one side, 
and the hopelessness of the other, knew no bounds; and 
nothing but a second attack was now needed in order to 
annihilate the remnant of the Attic forces.* 
But at this crisis a large fleet appeared 
off the mouth of the harbor. It was Arrival of 
Demosthenes with seventy-three new tri- 
remes, five thousand heavy-armed warriors, and a large 
body of light-armed troops of every kind ; for he had 
largely reinforced his armament on the Ionian islands 
and on the coast of Italy. In gorgeous array, and to the 
cheerful music of flutes, the ships sailed into the harbor 
without meeting with any resistance. The effect waa 

* Thuo. vii. 4—6 ; Plut. Nic. 19. 


96 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

indescribable. The Syracusans were aghast with terror ; 
they quailed before the power of a city which, though 
attacked on her own soil, could yet continue to send out 
new fleets and again and again recommence the war with 
fresh vigor. The Athenians once more outnumbered their 
enemies by both land and sea; an enterprising com- 
mander stood at their head ; and they were filled with a 
new assurance of victory.* 

Demosthenes rapidly acquainted himself with the whole 
situation of affairs He was far from over estimating the 
advantageous points in it ; he found the army sick, and 
the low-lying locality of the head-quarters unhealthy; 
moreover, the wet autumn season was at hand. He there- 
fore demanded that no time should be lost. He wished 
the Athenians without loss of time to assume the offen- 
sive, and to become the besiegers instead of the besieged, 
or, in case they failed in this attempt, to quit the fatal 
harbor. Nicias opposed these views. His pusillanimity 
had grown into perversity, and his fear of attempting 
anything dangerous outweighed every reasonable con- 
sideration. He appealed to his communications with 
Attic partisans in Syracuse, declaring the city to have 
exhausted her pecuniary resources, and Gylippus to be 
generally hated ; if, therefore, the Athenians would only 
bide their time, the enemy would be the first to begin 
negotiations. Possibly the representations which nou- 
rished such expectations in his mind were merely decep- 
tive delusions. 

The plan of Demosthenes was carried 

Demosthenes ° f * n tQe counc ^ °f generals. He was himself 
upon Epipoiae. pre-eminently adapted by his courage and 
c. 4130 August! presence of mind for striking the blow, 
which was to restore to the Athenians the 
possession of the heights of Epipolse, whence a year and 

*Thuo. vii. 42. 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 397 

a half ago they had commenced the operations of the 
siege. At eventide he led his troops from the Anapus up 
the trackless declivities, unexpectedly fell upon the upper- 
most of the Syracusan forts, put the garrison to the sword, 
and was already beginning to break up the counter-wall, 
constructed across the heights by Gylippus. The Athe- 
nians were once more in possession of the summit in the 
rear of the town, and deemed their success complete. 
They hurried forward, in order to take the amplest 
advantage of their success; when they were 
met by the troops from the city fortifica- battl f ^^e^. 
tions, to whom the alarm had been given, polae and re- 
A sanguinary nocturnal battle ensued on Athenians, 
the desolate ridge of Epipolae, which, after 
a time, took a turn unfavorable to the Athenians, owing 
to the vigorous onset of the serried ranks of the Syracusan 
auxiliaries ; while the Athenians were exhausted and 
unacquainted with the locality. Confusion seized upon 
their ranks ; a confusion increased by the Doric songs of 
victory raised by their own allies, the Corcyraeans and the 
Argives. The Athenians believed themselves attacked in 
the rear, until at last, from the chaos of a sanguinary 
hand-to-hand struggle, the troops of Demosthenes rushed 
forth, hurrying in wild flight down the steep declivities 
which they had climbed not long before. After suffering 
heavy losses, being for the most part without arms and in 
a pitiable plight, they reached the camp, where Nicias 
awaited the result of the attempt.* 

Demosthenes had used his best endeavors 
to place the Athenian expedition once more Demosthenes 

p . , . . advocates rais- 

in a tavorable position. His attack upon i ng the siege. 

Epipolse was suitably designed, and skilfully 
and bravely executed ; but it had, after a momentary suc- 
cess, without his fault, resulted in utter failure. To re- 

* Thuc. vii. 43, ff. 

398 History of Greece. [ BooK IV - 

peat the same attempt with a more favorable result wab 
impossible ; and no man could devise any other means of 
once more placing Syracuse in a state of siege. Hence 
Demosthenes, who from the first had displayed perfect 
clearness and coolness of judgment, was not for a moment 
doubtful as to the present duty of the generals who had 
here, in a foreign country, according to their best judg- 
ment, to watch over the interests of their native city and 
of their army. It was their duty to lead the latter away, 
as long as freedom of movement, and a balance of forces 
equal to those of the enemy, remained to them. As yet, 
retreat involved neither danger nor even shame. For, in- 
stead of appearing in the light of flight, their retreat 
would merely seem a rational alteration of the plan of 
operations, enjoined by the circumstances of the case. 
Nor would the Sicilian expedition on this account come 
to an end ; for better opportunities might be found of 
inflicting damage upon the Syracusans from Catana, than 
from their own harbor. In Catana, or near Thapsus, the 
generals would then be at perfect liberty to determine upon 
further proceedings, and to send for orders from the civic 
assembly at home. Only let the fleet and army find its 
way out of the harbor — the sooner the better. 

It is scarcely conceivable how any rational 
Opposition of ai .o. um ent could have been opposed to this 

Nicias. o rr 

view. Eurymedon, who had arrived with 
Demosthenes, assented to it; but Nicias opposed it. 
Nicias was a man who always acted on principle, and 
who, being utterly devoid of self-confidence, and incapable 
of rising to an unfettered resolution, desired, at all events, 
to act in as correct a manner as possible. In insisting 
upon the army's remaining, he was accordingly by no 
means actuated by superior courage, but rather by 
timidity and fear — fear of the people. Even in the 
shallow corner of the harbor, in the neighborhood of the 
fever-morass and the threatening enemy, he felt more at 

Cnxv. iv.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 399 

his ease, +han when he in imagination beheld himself 
confronting the turbulent assembly of the people, and 
attempting to justify himself for having raised the seige 
without orders. In Syracuse, he felt he stood at his post : 
here he could simply do his duty, however arduous its 
performance might be ; while at Athens he had to expect 
charges of treason and corruption, as well as the most un- 
fair judgment of the entire campaign: there he saw the 
whole wrath of the people, provoked by the failure of the 
expedition, bursting over the heads of its commanders; 
and he was well aware with whom lay the largest share 
of the responsibility. He urged that the enemy had 
exhausted their materials of war, and that want of pay 
w r ould soon cause the auxiliary troops to disperse; and he 
continued to take refuge in the existence of a secret un- 
derstanding with a party in Syracuse, wherein he deceived 
himself, or allowed himself to be deceived. The two gen- 
erals who had already been his colleagues in the command 
before the arrival of the second fleet, voted on his side ; 
and, in consequence, the army remained. Demosthenes 
and Eurymedon wrathfully submitted. Whole weeks of 
precious and irrecoverable time passed by ; Nicias re- 
ceived and despatched secret messages, but nothing else 
was done. The courage of the army sank to a lower 
pitch than ever, and a dispiriting gloom settled more and 
more deeply upon soldiers and commanders, while the 
morass-fevers extended their ravages. And now the spies 
brought news of the arrival of fresh troops in the city. 
At Selinus, Gylippus had met the Peloponnesians, who in 
spring had sailed from Cape Tsenarum to Libya, and who 
arrived in Sicily in vessels belonging to the Cyrenseans ; 
and he led his ancient broth ers-in-arms into Syracuse, in 
order, with their help, to compass the final victory. It 
was the end of August. Even Nicias was obliged to give 
way ; for the last hour had arrived. 

400 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

The necessary measures were taken with haste and 
The Athe- secrecy; word was sent to Catana to ex- 
nians resolve pect the arrival of the fleet, and to stop 
upou r all further transmission of supplies to the 

army. The start was to be effected on the night of 
the 27th, being the night of a full-moon. On all the 
ships the last hand was being put to the arrangements for 
departure, and all minds were in a painful state of 
tension ; when, after nine o'clock, the heavens became 

obscured, and an eclipse of the moon took 

Eclipse of the place. A precipitate terror seized upon the 

29-30.' whole fleet. That such a phenomenon of 

nature should occur at this moment seemed 
a sign sent by the gods, to disregard which would be an 
act of criminal impiety. No man arose, like Pericles on 
similar occasions (vol. ii. p. 438), to calm and to 
encourage the superstitious crowd by his own imperturba- 
ble equanimity. Nor did any one of the generals display 
sufficient presence of mind and sagacity to demonstrate to 
the people from astrology itself, that, for undertakings 
like this, which were to be accomplished in secrecy, the 
obscuration of the heavenly bodies was a favorable and 
propitious sign. The entire matter, which was to decide 
the life of many thousands and the future of Athens, fell 
into the hands of miserable soothsayers, who made a trade 
of their profession. For, unfortunately, Stilbides had 
died a short time previously, — the best of the craft, who 
had not unfrequently made use of his influence upon 
Nicias to disabuse him of vulgar superstition. The sur- 
viving professors of the art declared that a full circuit of 
the moon must intervene, before the departure could be 
ordered with a clear conscience. A delay of thrice nine 
days, when every hour threatened ruin ! Nicias was the 
most timid of all. More than ever, he believed himself 
to be under the influence of demonic powers, and 
occupied his whole time with sacrifices and expiatory 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 401 

rites, until necessity scared him out of his gloomy 

The Syracusans had received news of all 
these events, and their thoughts were now Attacks of 

,.,,. , . , ,. - the Syracusans, 

entirely directed towards preventing the August 30. 
escape of the Athenians. Gylippus gave 
orders for an attack by land and sea. The Athenians had 
the larger number of vessels ; but they were notwith- 
standing defeated. The remnant of their fleet was driven 
further and further back into the innermost corner of the 
harbor ; and it was owing only to the want of caution 
displayed by the Syracusans in the land attack, and to the 
bravery of the Tyrrhenian auxiliaries, that the fleet was 
preserved from total annihilation. When the Athenians 
were once more attempting to recover themselves after 
this defeat, they were terrified anew by observing that the 
Sicilians were engaged in closing the entrance of the 
harbor, by placing vessels of both larger and smaller size, 
connected by chains, at anchor in the middle of the 
channel.f It was now beyond all doubt too late to wait 
for particular phases of the moon. A life-and-death 
struggle must be commenced without any further delay, 
if a single man among the Athenian thousands was to 
hope to see his home again. All the crews were removed 
from the works, and all the vessels, bad as well as good — ■ 
about 110 in all — were manned. They were secured as 
well as possible against the impulse of the beams attached 
to the enemy's vessels, and were supplied with iron 
grapnels, to render them more effective for purposes of 
assault. An entrenchment capable of serving the need 
of the moment was thrown up on the shore, as a tempo- 
rary protection for the sick and the baggage ; and then 
Demosthenes advanced towards the mouth of the harbor, 

* As to the eclipse, see Thuc. vii. 50 ; Diod. xiii. 12 ; Plut. Nic. 23. 
| Thuc. vii. 56. 

402 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

in order to effect a passage by force. Once 
The last bat- more the Attic psean resounded ; and the 

tie in the har- , -, . , , xl 

bor, Sept. l. crews advanced, animated by the courage 
of despair. They actually succeeded in 
gaining the central outlet, and in bearing down the hostile 
vessels nearest to them. But soon the enemy's fleets bore 
down from either side towards the mouth. The ships 
were driven against one another in inextricable confu- 
sion ; nearly two hundred vessels were engaged in a close 
conflict, while the shores around were lined with Syra- 
cusan troops, and destruction threatened the Athenians on 
every side. The chaos was so terrific, that none of the 
captains of the ships could keep to any fixed course ; all 
freedom of movement, any clear view or systematic guid- 
ance of the particular vessels, had become impossible ; 
and, without being well aware how it came about, the 
Attic fleet at last moved back into the harbor, and took 
refuge at the fortification on the shore. But the Syra- 
cusans on their side had also met with terrible losses. 
Nothing therefore remained to be done, but to push 
forward again on the following day, and to attempt a 
passage on the only road by which safety was attainable. 
The Athenians might presume that the throng of ships 
would be less dense, and that their own vessels would 
have greater freedom of movement, especially as they 
still outnumbered those of the Syracusans. The generals 
were for renewing the attempt. But the crews refused. 
The last drop was now added to the cup of misery — that 
of mutinous insubordination. The spirit of the Athe- 
nians had sunk so low, that they were prevented by an 
uncontrollable terror from entering their ships and seeking 
the only means of preservation remaining to them. They 
demanded that an attempt should be made to retreat by 
land — an attempt promising absolutely no chance of suc- 
cess. And even this hopeless resolution, which was to be 
executed in the ensuing night, was delayed. Deluded by 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 403 

deceptive representations, they allowed another entire day 
to pass by ; until the Syracusans, who had not allowed 
any consideration to disturb the insolence of their 
triumph, had slept off the effects of their festive carouse, 
and had despatched troops to occupy the surrounding 

Plereupon the Athenians commenced their 

Retreat of the 

march : a march of 40,000 men, who, like to Athenians by 
the emigrant population of a city, wandered land > Se P t * 3 - 
laden with their baggage, away from the coast into a coun- 
try hostile to them, without any definite goal for their 
journey, without sufficient supplies of food, without confi- 
dence in their ultimate preservation, tortured by fear, lost 
in speechless and stolid despair, or raging in savage fury 
against men and gods. For every sorrow, every trouble 
capable of oppressing human hearts, weighed down the 
souls of the Athenians, as their army quitted the fatal spot. 
Their ships they had seen one after the other become a 
prey to the flames, or fall into the hands of the enemy. To 
their dead, whose corpses lay on the ground around, they 
had to bid farewell, without being able to pay them the 
last honors ; but most terrible of all was it to have to leave 
behind on the desolate shore the many wounded and 
sick, who raised their voices in loud lamentations as their 
relatives and tent-fellows departed, or clung to the skirts 
of their garments, and let themselves be dragged along for 
a brief distance, till they sank prostrate to the ground. 

The generals did their duty, and succeeded as far as lay 
in their power. They arranged the army in two divisions, 
the van being led by Nicias, and the rear by Demosthenes, 
while the baggage and implements of war moved in the 
midst, the soldiers marching in two oblong bodies. The 
more heavily that the clouds of calamity gathered round 
the army, the more loftily Nicias rose to a truly heroic 

* As to the last battle in the harbor, see Thuo. vii. 61 — 71. 

404 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

grandeur ; nor did this example fail of its effect. Before 
the army started on the march, he made a solemn address 
to the assembled troops, in order to inspire them with 
courage. He represented to them the possibility of gain- 
ing a strong position, whence they might advantageously 
defend themselves ; he held out to them the hope of sup- 
port from friendly tribes of the island ; he reminded them 
of the justice of the gods : for although the splendor and 
power of the Athenian host might have at one time 
aroused their displeasure, in its present state it might well 
count upon their compassion, in whose power it was to 
raise again those whom they had bowed to the ground. 
Nicias assured the troops, that, notwithstanding all the 
bodily infirmities under which he suffered, he was con 
soled by a clear conscience, and looked forward with con- 
fidence into the darkness of the future. At the same time 
he reminded them, that any possibility of success depended 
upon their endurance and bravery. 

The army marched up the left bank of 
The fights at J . . r 

the hill of the Anapus ; which river forms a deep 
Acne. Sept. wa t er course in the reedy morass of the 
soil. Already in this valley the battle 
commenced. For the Syracusans were anxious to detain 
the army in the vicinity of the city, in order if possible 
to destroy the Athenians under its very eyes. But the 
Athenians forced a passage by the ford leading into the 
interior ; whereupon their enemies, instead of any longer 
attacking them in regular line, followed the army, and, 
by constant attacks of skirmishers in its rear and flanks, 
endeavored gradually to consume its strength. Thus the 
Athenians on this day advanced the distance of a mile, 
and for the first time rested for the night by the side of a 
hill. On the second day they entered a plain, where after 
a short march they halted, in order to procure supplies of 
food and water from the dwellings in the neighborhood « 
which they accomplished without any interference on the 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 405 

part of the enemy. For, meanwhile, the latter had clearly- 
recognized the intention of the Athenians, of marching 
through the high country in the direction of Catana, and 
had hastened on, in order to occupy and wall-in the height 
of Acrae (at the gorge of Floridia), which lay across the 
line of this route. On the third day the Athenians ad- 
vanced, and, after a sharp fight, were forced to return to 
their previous position. But even here they found them- 
selves unable to remain, all supplies being cut off from 
them by the cavalry. They were accordingly obliged to 
run the last risk for forcing the pass on the following day. 
At an early hour of the morning they made the attempt ; 
but, although they charged with heroic bravery, all their 
exertions were in vain. From the cross walls closing up 
either branch of the bifurcate valley, and from the height 
between, they were exposed to a dense shower of arrows 
and other missiles, without being able to approach their 
adversaries. A tempest and torrents of rain came to the 
enemy's aid, and, notwithstanding that their occurrence 
was not by any means a rarity at this season of the year, 
helped to spread new terror. Everything in the eyes of 
the Athenians seemed to unite for their destruction. One 
day more of hopeless fighting ensued, and brought with it 
nothing but new losses and wounds. Accordingly, when 
night came on, a new plan was determined upon ; and, while 
the enemy was being deceived by means of camp-fires, the 
army started on its march towards the south, — towards 
the coast, where the valleys promised better positions of 
defence, and more convenient inlets into the interior. Nicias 
succeeded in maintaining discipline. At early morning 
he reached the neighborhood of the sea and the road to 
Helorus, leading from Syracuse in the direction of the 
southern promontory of Sicily. He hurried on without 
resting, and without waiting for Demosthenes. To have 
for the moment escaped their pursuers seemed, in the eyes 
of the Athenians, in itself to amount to a piece of the 

406 History of Greece. [ b °ok IV. 

highest good fortune. Demosthenes, on the other hand, 
failed to advance with equal rapidity. Towards noon he 
was overtaken by the enemy, and involved in more fight- 
ing. His isolated body of troops had to move on whither 
the enemy drove it forward, was then surrounded, and 
finally shut up in some large farm-buildings called the 
Polyzeleum; where, without being able to defend them- 
selves, the soldiers rapidly, and in large 

Surrender of . - _. , _ \ , . ., 

the army of numbers, tell before the enemy s missiles. 
Demosthenes, ^ n( j uow no cno i ce wa s left. Six thousand 

Sept. 8. 

in number, they surrendered to Gylippus, 
and Demosthenes himself, who was forcibly prevented 
from ending his life by his own sword, fell alive into the 
victor's hands. 

While these events were taking place, Ni- 
Battie of the c j as } ia( J taken up a strong position on the 

Asinarus, Sept. . ■, TT i 

10. stream ot Jbnneus, near the coast. Here the 

news reached him, accompanied by a sum- 
mons to surrender. He promised payment of the expenses 
of the war, if his troops were allowed to depart unhurt. 
These conditions were rejected, and the terrible pursuit re- 
commenced on the eighth day. Nicias exerted himself to 
the utmost in order to reach the nearest of the parallel 
valleys by the coast, that of the Asinarus ; in feverish, 
haste the army hurried on, and no sooner had the water 
come in view, than all the soldiers, without taking heed 
of the enemy, who had already occupied the opposite bank, 
wildly and eagerly rushed down the precipitous heights, 
wounding and trampling upon and hurling down one an- 
other in their desire to reach the water and to quench their 
burning thirst. Some were, in the very act of drinking, 
swept away* by the river; others fell wounded into its 
waters : for from the bank the Sicilian troops discharged 
their arrows and javelins among the dense multitude crowd- 
ing into the bed of the river ; the fugitives were caught by 
the cavalry, and, sword in hand, the Peloponnesians pene- 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 407 

trated into the gorge to seize upon their victims, till the 
muddy water was red with blood, and could only with dif- 
ficulty force its course through heaps of dead bodies. 

With this massacre, and the dissolution of 
all order and discipline, before his eyes, Ni- Ni c™ nder ° f 
cias was forced to relinquish the hope of 
saving any part of the army. He surrendered to Gylip- 
pus, on condition of the massacre being stopped by the 
latter, and the lives of the remainder spared. As to him- 
self, Nicias left it to the Spartan to deal with him as he 
listed. No formal treaty was concluded. Many were pi- 
tilessly cut to pieces, even after the surrender had taken 
place ; others were captured singly, and then put aside as 
domestic slaves. Finally, in the midst of the general con- 
fusion, a not inconsiderable number succeeded in effecting 
their escape immediately, or on a subsequent occasion, to 
Catana. Thus, the total number of those who were led in 
triumph into Syracuse, when Gylippus returned from his 
cruel chase, amounted to not more than 7,000 or there- 
abouts. The great mass of the prisoners were 
placed in the stone-quarries; where, in close the prisoners ° f 
confinement between high vertical rocks, 
they were exposed without protection to the glowing heat 
of the sun, as well as to the frost of the autumn nights. 
In order that the promise given to Nicias might not be 
directly broken, they were supplied with provisions for 
eight months — viz., with barley and water — but only to the 
amount of half the most meagre allowance of a slave, and 
at the same time they were in their utter misery exhibited 
as a spectacle to the people, who in curious groups looked 
down from above upon the wretched abode, where the living 
dragged on their existence in the midst of the dying and 
the dead. At last the Syracusans were unable to tolerate 
the existence among them of so much misery. After a 
term of seventy days, the horrible dungeon was opened, 
and a large proportion of the prisoners were sold as slaves ; 

408 History of Greece. [Book iv. 

only those who were Athenians by birth, and the Sicilian 
Greeks, being still kept back. We may willingly believe 
the consoling statement : that, in particular instances, the 
Athenians, of whom many lived in servitude outside as 
well as in Syracuse, found their attainments stand them in 
good stead, and that they contrived in particular to make 
themselves agreeable to their masters, and to assuage the 
hardship of their own condition, by reciting favorite pas- 
sages from Euripides. 

Immediately after the final battle a pub- 
Death of Vi- ... . J , , _ __. . r . 
and Demos- lie judgment was held over JNicias and 


thenes. Demosthenes. Gylippus wished their lives 

to be spared, so that he might take them to Sparta. He 
was aware that he could procure no satisfaction for bis 
fellow-citizens greater than that of placing in their hands 
the victor of Pylus. But his influence over the Syracusans 
was not sufficient to induce them to restrain their savage 
cravings for vengeance. The demagogues even vitupe- 
rated the man to whom the city owed everything, and 
would not allow moderate politicians like Hermocrates to 
address the people. The most vehement outcry against 
sparing the generals was raised by those citizens who had 
secretly intrigued with Nicias, and who were afraid of* the 
statements which he might make. The Corinthians who 
were in Syracuse encouraged this feeling of passionate re- 
venge, in order to prevent the possibility of any future 
danger arising to themselves from the Attic generals ; and 
thus a decree was passed for their execution. It was Her- 
mocrates who did them the last act of kindness, by send- 
ing them information of the decree before the assembly 
had separated, and by thus affording them an opportunity 
of putting an end to their lives with their own hands. 
Their corpses were exposed at the city-gate ; and this long 
series of fearful acts of vengeance was crowned by the in- 
stitution of an annual popular festival in Syracuse, called 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 409 

the Asinaria, in remembrance of the massacre in the gorge 
of the Asinarus.* 

Thus the Sicilian expedition ended in a 

... Review of the 

series of events, which to this day it is 1m- Sicilian expedi- 
possible to recall without a feeling of horror. *£**** its re ' 
Their nature is such as to make us forget 
everything which preceded them : whether we consider 
their critical importance, or the tremendous revolutions of 
fortune, or even merely the number of the states involved 
in them. The boundary feuds between Egesta and Seli- 
nus had led to a general war in which, besides the two 
great confederacies, all the Sicilian cities and the Italian 
peoples, the Messapians, the Iapygians, and Tyrrhenians, 
had taken part ; the ancient feuds between Athens and 
Sparta had become a Mediterranean war, and had at the 
same time raised the passions of the different parties to a 
combative fury, which no longer confined its hopes to 
obtaining one or more victories and advantages, but ex- 
tended them to the annihilation of the foe. 

As to the result of the Sicilian war, Greece had never 
experienced anything similar in the history of her internal 
feuds. For since the Persian wars it had never come to 

* Concerning the retreat of the Athenians, see Leake, Trans, of E. 8, 
of Lit., 2d Series, iii. pp. 320 ff. But the topography of the march still 
remains obscure: a careful survey of the district of Acrseum Lepas is 
required, before we can understand what obliged the Athenians to take 
this route, and what occurred there. The eight days reckoned in Plut. 
Nic. are correct, notwithstanding Grote, iv. 268, note. It is evident from 
Thuc. vii. 86, that there were really persons at Syracuse who kept up an 
understanding with Nicias; but this docs not prove that their intentions 
towards him were honest, which I have questioned in the text. Tbc 
Asinaria are said to have been kept up as a festival to the present day 
(Smith, Diet, of Gr. and Rom. Geogr., i. 140). As to the death of Niciaa 
and Demosthenes, Timaeus contradicts Thuc. vii. 8, and Philistus (ap. 
Plut. ATic. 18). It might be conjectured, that Timanis has used his ut- 
most endeavours to place the Syracusans, and Hermocrates in particular, 
in the most favorable light possible. 

410 History of Greece. [ B o°* IV 

pass, that on the one side all had been so completely lost, 
while on the other all was won. The long list of errors 
and mishaps which brought so utter a ruin upon the Athe- 
nians, notwithstanding their inflexible endurance and mar- 
vellous bravery, opens with the beginning of the whole 
undertaking. They equip a military and naval armada 
such as Greece had never before seen ; but while intending 
to conquer the far West, they are in their own home ruled 
by a traitorous party, which is guiltily hazarding for its 
own purposes the welfare of the state ; they venture upon 
an enterprise demanding a leader of fearless resolution and 
versatile skill, and convert the only man possessing the re- 
quired qualifications into an enemy of the state, and into 
an adversary of his own work ; they confide the conduct 
of the war to a sick and timid commander, who personally 
objects to it; and they meet with an enemy more danger- 
ous than all against whom they have before contended — 
an enemy who fully shares the hatred of the Dorians 
against Athens, and who at the same time possesses an 
abundance of resources, and a mental mobility unknown to 
other Dorian states. Among all hostile cities, Syracuse 
was the one whose citizens most resembled the Athenians ; 
hence nothing but the most brilliant display of Attic energy 
could be expected to overcome them. But, in fact, all the 
gifts by means of which the generals of Athens were wont 
to conquer, were in this war on the side of her enemies ; 
and the Athenians, whose whole strength consisted in bold 
offensive war, were driven to carry on a relaxing, and a 
more and more hopeless series of defensive operations, in 
which they gradually wasted away everything on which 
success depended — health, numbers, materials, discipline, 
and military ardor. On the other hand, when once all 
hopes of victory had been frustrated, and when the whole 
attention of the leaders should have been concentrated upon 
the preservation of the army, it was again Nicias whose 
obstinacy defeated the only rational plans, viz., those of 

Chap. IV.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 411 

Demosthenes. It was now the timorous general who re- 
fused to quit his position ; and thus he, who labored under 
a morbid fear of offending men and gods, was made to draw 
down upon his fated head the heaviest load of blame. 

Yet the result of the war was not merely dependent on 
individual personages and individual calamities ; the whole 
of the Athenian commonwealth paid the penalty for its 
unreflecting rashness and perversity. Athens suffered for 
the unsound policy which she had pursued since the last 
ostracism, for her habit of half-measures and half-resolves ; 
inasmuch as she allowed herself to be deceived by the 
tempting delusions of the boldest policy of conquest, with- 
out bringing herself to take the steps which alone were able 
to secure its success. The Athenians followed Alcibiades, 
and yet refused to confide in him ; they pursued a policy 
directly the reverse of that of former days, and yet refused 
to dismiss the men who represented the very political prin- 
ciples which the people had relinquished. The Athenians 
attempted to reconcile what was irreconcilable, and en- 
deavored according to their despotic whim to force their 
generals, willingly or unwillingly, to execute their com- 

The primary cause of this long chain of calamities ac- 
cordingly consisted in the fact, that the Athenian people 
deserted the principles of Pericles. He had secured to 
Athens an impregnable power, and had guaranteed her its 
endurance ; but solely on condition of confining herself to 
the preservation of her empire, and not risking the welfare 
of the state by any unnecessary venture, or attempt at pur- 
suing a hazardous, offensive policy. And now this very 
condition was directly violated. An undertaking was 
commenced which, in any event, could not fail to involve 
the state in ruin. For if the undertaking succeeded, the 
gain must fall to those who had fostered the vague cravings 
of the Athenians for a vast empire, in order by this means 

412 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

to raise themselves personally above law and constitution. 
As the conqueror of Syracuse and the master of Sicily and 
its treasures, at the head of an army which he might, by 
the distribution of the rich spoils, attach to his person, Al- 
cibiades would have overthrown the democracy, and de- 
prived the civic community, which was incapable of go- 
verning a Mediterranean empire, of both power and rights. 
On the other hand, if the result should prove unfavorable, 
it would not amount merely to the failure of a single un- 
dertaking, but the entire foundations of the Attic common- 
wealth would be shaken. For, a loss which other states 
might bear, it was out of the power of Athens to recover, 
inasmuch as the mere maintenance of her power demanded 
an intense exertion of all her forces, and the preservation 
of her resources in their integrity. And although it may 
frequently be the case with other states, that their mis- 
fortunes only contribute to procure them sympathy and 
new allies, who grudge the victorious party the full enjoy- 
ment of their victory, this rule failed to apply to Athens. 
For the only consequence of her calamities was, that all 
her enemies gathered together, both old and new, both open 
foes and those whose hostility she had hitherto suppressed ; 
and against this terrible combination she stood alone, 
broken in strength, and isolated in position. 

The Sicilian expedition is accordingly something more 
than an episode in the great war — it is the crisis of that 
war : the judgment held over the city of Pericles, — a re- 
taliatory judgment, from which she was never again able 
to raise herself to her former greatness. But, on the other 
hand, neither did the Sicilian cities reap blessings from the 
result of the expedition. The ancient discord among them 
manifested itself anew. After the destruction of the 
Athenian armament, the Egestseans were defenceless 
victims in the hands of their insolent enemies ; they 
therefore summoned the Carthaginians into the country, 
In 01. xcii. 3 (b.c. 409) Hannibal, the son of Hamilcar, 

Chap, iv.] To the End of the Sicilian War. 413 

landed on the Sicilian coast to avenge the day of Himera, 
and soon a number of the most splendid of the Greek 
cities, Selinus, Himera, and Acragas, lay in ruins.* 

* Punic campaigns in Sicily : Diodor. xiii. 54. 



When the news of the final ruin of the 
Reception at expedition reached Athens, the first impres- 
Siciiian news, sion was such, that a calamity so vast, and 
so far beyond conception, was held impossi- 
ble; and even the most trustworthy witnesses obtained no 
credence. Then, when it was no longer possible to avoid 
believing the tremendous fact, endless lamentations filled 
the city. There was no house in it which had not to 
mourn the loss of relatives and friends, the uncertainty as 
to whose fate added a sharper pang to the general grief; 
and the thought of the survivors was yet more painful, 
than the sorrow on behalf of those who were known to 
have fallen ; although even in their case their shameful 
end, aud the neglect of all religious observances towards 
them, yet further embittered the feelings of natural regret. 
When the Athenians recovered from the first stupefaction 
of grief, they called to mind the causes of the whole 
calamity, and hereupon in passionate fury turned round 
upon all who had advised the expedition, or who had 
encouraged vain hopes of victory, as orators, prophets, or 
soothsayers. Finally, the general excitement passed into 
the phase of despair and terror, conjuring up dangers 
even greater and more imminent than existed in reality. 
The citizens every day expected to see the Sicilian fleet 
with the Peloponnesians appear off the harbor, to take 
possession of the defenceless city ; and they believed that 
the last days of Athens had arrived. 
414 " 

Chap, v.] The Decelean War. 415 

And in truth it seemed out of the question 
that she would be able to recover from this situation^ 61 " of 
blow. For the reverses previously expert Athens. 01. xci. 

. . -n . • mi i 4. (B. C. 411.) 

enced by the city in -bgypt, in Inrace, and winter, 
in Bceotia, would not admit of even a 
distant comparison with the present calamity. In the 
present case, Athens had risked all her military and naval 
resources for the purpose of overcoming Syracuse. More 
than two hundred ships of state, with their entire equip- 
ment, had been lost; and if we reckon up the numbers 
despatched on successive occasions to Sicily, the sum total, 
inclusive of the auxiliary troops, may be calculated at 
about sixty thousand men. A squadron still lay in the 
waters of Naupactus ; but even this was in danger and 
exposed to attack from the Corinthians, who had equipped 
fresh forces. The docks and naval arsenals were empty, 
and the treasury likewise. In the hopes of enormous 
booty and an abundance of new revenues, no expense had 
been spared ; and the resources of the city were entirely 
exhausted. For, as the Egestseans' promises of contribu- 
tions had proved delusive, the annual pay of the troops 
alone amounted to double the annual revenue. The sum3 
of money laid by at the beginning of the war had accord- 
ingly been speedily used up ; and it had already become 
necessary, on account of the want of money, to dismiss to 
their homes the Thracian mercenaries, who were to have 
been despatched to join the army at Syracuse. At the 
same time the money capital of the people itself had suf- 
fered severely by the sacrifices of the trierarchs, who had 
supplied both the equipment of the vessels and voluntary 
pecuniary contributions ; and a large amount of coin had 
been found on the persons of the prisoners by the enemy, 
and had been secured by him. 

But, far heavier than the material losses in money, 
ships, and men, was the moral blow which had been 
received by Athens, and which was more dangerous in her 

410 History of Greece. [ Eo °k IV. 

case than in that of any other state, because her whole 
power was based on the fear inspired in the subject states, 
so long as they saw the fleets of Athens absolutely 
supreme at sea. The ban of this fear had now been 
removed ; disturbances arose in those island-states which 
were most necessary to Athens, and whose existence 
seemed to be most indissolubly blended with that of 
Attica, — in Euboea, Chios, and Lesbos ; everywhere the 
oligarchical parties raised their head, in order to over- 
throw the odious dominion of Athens ; and the Athe- 
nians, who, even when at the height of their power, had 
with difficulty succeeded in mastering certain of the 
revolted cities, now that their resources were utterly ex- 
hausted, had to apprehend a universal revolt. Lastly, 
they had lost confidence in their own constitution ; for, as 
will be remembered, even before the departure of the 
Sicilian expedition a thoroughly revolutionary state of 
affairs had obtained ; and it was now clear that the 
existing constitution was unequal to the protecting of the 
state from internal dissolution, and still less capable of 
offering a pledge for the continuance of its power.* 

Sparta, on the other hand, had in the course of a few 
months, without sending out an army or in- 
S aru° Sltl ° n ° currm g an y danger or losses, secured to her- 
self the greatest advantages, such as she 
could not have obtained from the most successful cam- 
paign. Gylippus had again proved the value of a single 
Spartan man : inasmuch as in the hour of the greatest 
danger his personal conduct had altered the course of the 
most important and momentous transaction of the entire 
war. He was, in a word, the more fortunate successor of 
Brasidas. The authority of Sparta in the Peloponnesus, 
which the peace of Nicias had weakened, was now re- 
stored ; with the exception of Argos and Elis, all her 

* As to the condition of Athens at this time, see Thuc. viii. 1. 

Chap. V.J The Decelean War. 417 

allies were on amicable terms with her ; the brethren of 
her race beyond the sea, who had hitherto held aloof, had, 
by the attack made by the Athenian invasion, been drawn 
into the war, and had now become the most zealous and 
ardent allies of the Peloponnesians. And their numbers 
included not only the states actually attacked by Athens, 
— states whose desire for vengeance continued even now 
unappeased, — but even in Thurii the Peloponnesian party 
now prevailed, and induced the Thuriatse to renounce their 
friendly relations with the Athenians, of which they had 
only recently given so signal a proof (p. 385). Moreover, 
the Athenians had driven the most capable of all living 
statesmen and commanders into the enemy's camp. No 
man was better adapted than Alcibiades for rousing the 
slowly-moving Lacedaemonians to energetic action ; and 
it was he who supplied them with the best advice, and 
with the most accurate information as to Athenian politics 
and localities. Lastly, the Spartans were at the present 
time under a warlike king, the enterprising and ambitious 
Agis, the son of Archidamus, who had already at Mantinea 
(p. 310) restored the honor of the Spartan arms, and who 
was eagerly engaged in redeeming all the mistakes which 
he had formerly committed in the course of the feuds with 
Argos, aud in restoring to its pristine height the royal 
authority, which, since 01. xc. 3 (b. c. 418), had been 
further weakened by the institution of a corporation of 
ten members, bound to accompany the king in the field as 
a council of war. 

Thus Sparta stood at the head of her confederates, ani- 
mated by a new spirit of self-confidence, and 
warranted in expecting the utter dissolution navy and of 
of the hostile confederation. Athens' su- mone J- 
premacy by sea seemed irretrievably lost to her ; and 
already Sparta held in readiness her military governors, 
to be despatched into the cities which had revolted against 
the Athenians, and to make her mistress of their re- 


418 History of Greece. L b <>ok I v. 

sources. It seemed as if victory were, like a ripe fruit, to 
drop into the lap of the Spartans. But for a full and 
complete victory she needed a naval force of her own. 
The isolated island and coast towns were incapable of 
forming a united force in war ; nor would it be expedient 
for Sparta to depend upon the accident of their individual 
views, if she was to assume the vacant inheritance of the 
naval supremacy ; while the young navy of the Siceliotes, 
though offering a welcome accession of strength, was 
equally unable to supply the void of a navy belonging to 
Sparta herself. A strong central force was needed, around 
which the auxiliaries gathering on all sides might form ; a 
Spartan fleet was required to form a point of union for the 
several at present detached squadrons. But for this pur- 
pose none of the requisite preliminary measures had been 
taken. For although in the course of the war the con- 
viction as to the existence of this necessity had become 
more and more universal (p. 177), yet the obstacles in its 
way had by no means been surmounted. The ancient dis- 
like still continued to prevail against an energetic naval 
armament ; nor had Sparta's incapacity for becoming a 
naval power undergone any change. The Spartan soldiery 
spurned the idea of serving on shipboard : all the suc- 
cesses which might chance to be obtained by sea were 
owing to the subordinate classes of the population, and 
accordingly constituted a menace against the power of the 
Dorian hoplites, on which the state was based. Again, in 
financial matters, Sparta still viewed everything from an 
antiquated point of view. She was without a confederate 
treasury, without regular revenues from her confederates, 
and her citizens were without private fortunes, which 
might have enabled them to support the state, and have 
allowed the latter to venture upon extraordinary exertions. 
The truth now became palpable of what Archidamus had 
predicted already at the outset of the war : that the ulti- 
mate victory would be less dependent upon arms than 

Chap, v.] The Decelean War. 419 

upon money. It might be possible to overcome the pre- 
vailing dislike against a naval armament, considering thai 
the latter was so absolutely demanded by present circum- 
stances, and at the same time by them so essentially 
facilitated. Hence nothing was now required, except 
pecuniary means. And even these now unexpectedly 
offered themselves to the Spartans, in consequence of the 
events which had in the meantime occurred in the Persian 

The relations between the Greek states 

.. ~ . . ., , •ill Relations be- 

and Persia had never been entirely broken tween Sparta 
off. The Spartans had entered into re- and Persia - 
peated negotiations with the Great King (p. 75 f.); 
but these negotiations had remained ineffectual, since 
even in these diplomatic transactions the Spartans had 
never been able to attain to the pursuit of a clear and de- 
cided policy. Moreover, great difficulties in reality at- 
tached to these negotiations. For the Persians consistently 
adhered to their principles, claiming all the territories on 
the coast of Asia Minor as their own; and refused to allow 
any other basis for arriving at an understanding. Accord- 
ingly, there could be no question of an agreement, unless 
the Spartans would consent to sacrifice these coast towns 
and to support and guarantee their reunion with the Per- 
sian empire. On this sole condition might the Persians 
be found ready to support Sparta with pecuniary contribu- 
tions against Athens. Now although the Spartans were 
utterly indifferent as to the liberty of the Hellenes beyond 
the sea, yet reasons easily conceivable prevented them 
from entering into an agreement of this nature by means 
of a treaty, and from thus openly contravening their policy 
towards Hellas, such as they had at the outset of the war 
announced it to be. Nor were they now any more than 
before inclined to engage in a naval war in Asia Minor, 
which the treaties would have entailed upon them, if the 
same were to be of any value to the Persians. These con* 

420 History of Greece. [Cook IV. 

siderations explain the fact of so many futile negotiations. 
At Susa, discontent was felt at the circumstance, that of 
the many envoys who arrived from Sparta each contra- 
dieted his predecessors; while at the same time it was not 
thought well wholly to break off these new>- 

Artaphernes . . , . 

in Sparta. tiations. Accordingly, in the seventh year 

of the war, Artaphernes was sent to Sparta, 

for the purpose of at last obtaining a clear and decisive 

answer. But he, together with his despatches, fell into the 

hands of the Athenians, who contrived to gain him over 

to their interests ; so that he returned to the 
Deatn of Ar- _^ . _ , . 

taxerxes. 01. trreat King accompanied by Athenian en- 

lxxxvm. 4. (b.c. VO y S# The negotiations, which were here- 
upon to be carried on in favor of Athens, 
were, however, frustrated by the death of Artaxerxes (01. 
lxxxviii. 4. (b. c. 425). 

The change of rulers was accompanied by momentous 
revolutions. For the legitimate successor and last Acha> 
menide of the true blood-royal, Xerxes II., was assassi- 
nated by his half-brother Sogdianus; who, in his turn, was 
in the same year overthrown by Ochus (another bastard 
of Artaxerxes), who hereupon ascended the throne as 
Darius IL* His rule failed to restore tran- 
quility. Everywhere sedition raised its 
head, particularly in Asia Minor. Pissuthnes, the son of 
Hystaspes, who had on several previous occasions inter- 
fered in Greek affairs (p. 117), rose in revolt. He was 
supported by Greek soldiers, under tne command of an 
Athenian of the name of Lycon. The treachery of the 
latter enabled Darius to overthrow Pissuthnes, whose son, 
Amorges, maintained himself by Athenian 
i a sap ernes. ^ ^ Q ar i a# -|- After the fall of Pissuthnes, 

* The accession of Darius No thus falls Dec. 424, according to Diod. 
xii. 71 : Thuc. viii. 58 and the Canon, 
f Revolt of Amorges : Thuc. viii. 5. 

Chap. V.] The Deceleun War. 421 

Tissaphernes and Pharnabazus appear ia Asia Minor as 
the first dignitaries of the Great King. Tissaphernes suc- 
ceeded Pissuthnes as satrap in the maritime provinces.* 
He was furious at the assistance offered by Athens to the 
party of his adversary ; moreover, the Great King (possi- 
bly in consequence of the Sicilian war and the destruction 
of the Attic fleet) demanded that the tributes long with- 
held by the coast-towns, which were still regarded as 
subject to the Persian empire, should now be levied. Tis- 
saphernes was obliged to pay the sums according to the 
rate at which they were entered in the imperial budget of 
Persia ; and thus, in order to reimburse himself, found 
himself forced to pursue a war policy. As the Persian 
empire had sunk to so miserable a condition, that no at- 
tempt could be made to advance unassisted, even against 
the broken power of the Athenians, everything now de- 
pended for the satrap upon obtaining assistance from a 
Greek quarter. He found opportunities for this purpose 
in Ionia itself, in all the more important cities of which a 
Persian party existed (p. 117). All these cities felt op- 
pressed by the weight of the Attic supremacy, while the 
trading population found the uninterrupted continuance 
of a state of war highly irksome, as disturbing their com- 
munications with the interior. The most important and 
only independent power in Ionia was Chios. 
Here the aristocratic families had with great tions with Chio« 
sagacity contrived to retain the government. and Er 7 thrae - 
Already in the seventh year of the war, they had been 
suspected of an intention of revolting against Athens; but 
they had afterwards induced the Athenians to confirm 
their constitution anew, since which time they had faith- 
fully fulfilled their federal obligations. After the great 
losses which they too had suffered in Sicily, they were still 

* Tissaphernes orpaTrjY&s ™v kotw, Thuc. viii. 5 ; cf. Nikolai, Politik 
d. Tiasaphernet, 

422 History of Greece. [ Bo °- Iv 

able to boast a force of sixty ships. It was their govern- 
ment which now became the focus of the conspiracy against 
Athens, in the first instance establishing a connection on 
the opposite shore with Erythrse. Hereupon Tissaphernes 
opened negotiations with both cities, and iu conjunction with 
them despatched an embassy to Peloponnesus charged 
with persuading the Spartans to place themselves at the 
head of the Ionian movement, the satrap at the same time 
promising to supply pay and provisions to the Peloponne- 
sian forces. 

The situation of Pharnabazus was the 


same as that of Tissaphernes. Pharnabazus 
was the satrap of the northern province, the centre of 
which was Dascyleum on the Propontis, while it compre- 
hended the regions of the Hellespont, Phrygia, Bithynia, 
and Cappadocia. He ruled over the Trojan country with 
the forests of Mount Ida, so extremely important for the 
requirements of ship-building, and had in his hands the 
points most formidable in case of a naval war against 
Athens. Pharnabazus seat to Sparta, with sums of money, 
two Greek partizans who had been expelled from their 
native states, Calligitus of Megara and Timagoras, who 
was a leader of the party friendly to the Persians at Cyzi- 
cus. They were commissioned to induce the Peloponne- 
sians to direct their attention towards the Hellespont. 
Thus Pharnabazus endeavored to outbid Tissaphernes in 
his promises ; and two powerful satraps became rival 
suitors for the favor of Sparta, to whom they offered 
money and their alliance.* 
mi , Lastly, neither was the nearest, and the 


most insidious, of all the enemies of Athens 
inactive. Thebes had obstinately refused to accede to the 
peace of Nicias, had taken Panactum, and had then de- 
stroyed the fortress before it was restored to Athens (p. 

* Pharnabazus and Calligitus : Thuc. viii. 6. 

Chap. V.] The Decelean War. .423 

291) ; and had recently been sorely irritated by a spiteful 
surprise executed upon the city of Mycalessus by the Thra- 
cians dismissed from Athens (p. 415) under the leadership 
of Diitrephes.* Thebes had also sent auxiliary troops to 
Sicily, and had taken an important part in the overthrow 
of the Athenians there ; and she was now arming for a new 
war, again, as before, effecting an understanding with Les- 
bos (p. 105 f.). 

While thus the most dangerous combina- 
tions were on all sides forming against , Outbreak of 

* i 1 ill 1 i i • the war in 

Athens, the war had already broken out in Greece. Pytho- 

Greece. This time Athens had been the ?? ru ? rava s es 

the Laconian 

first to commence direct hostilities. An At- coast, oi. xci. 
tic squadron, under the command of Pytho- Summer, 
dorus, had in the beginning of 01. xci. 3 
(b.c. 414), i. e., in the course of the eighth summer after the 
conclusion of the treaties, disembarked troops on Laconian 
territory near Prasise and Epidaurus, who devastated the 
fields in revenge for the Lacedaemonian irruptions into 
Argos. This in itself trifling occurrence was at the same 
time of no mean significance. For, during the whole 
course of the first ten years' war, the Spartans had labored 
under the consciousness that the war had been unjustly 
commenced by themselves, because the Thebans had fallen 
upon Platoe in the midst of peace ; and the older citizens, 
who represented the principle of legality in the civic as- 
sembly, had refused to be convinced, that this was not the 
original cause of the calamities which had overtaken the 
Spartans at Pylus and elsewhere. But in the present in- 
stance it was Athens who had broken the peace, — an event 
for which Sparta had long waited ; and since on the part 
of Athens every appeal to a decision by law was declined, 
a totally new ardor for war prevailed among the Old 
Spartan party, who thought that they might now carry on 

* Thuc. vii. 29. 

424 History of Greece. [ b ^ok IV. 

the war with a good conscience, and expect better success 
in it. 

Of this state of feeling Alcibiades availed 

Agis invades , . ,,, . , ,, T 

Attica. 01. xoi. nimsell with the greatest eagerness. It was 
3. (b.c. 413). owing to him, that after the Peloponnesians 

bpring. ° r 

had in the course of the winter decreed war 
and given orders for the necessary armaments, a Pelopon- 
nesian army under Agis invadf d Attica, with the advent 
of the spring of B.C. 413 (01. xci. 3) ; at which date it was 
already to be anticipated how the Sicilian war would end. 
For twelve years Attica had been spared hostile invasions, 
and the vestiges of former wars had been effaced. The 
present devastations were therefore doubly ruinous ; while 
at the same time it was now impossible to take vengeance 
upon the Peloponnesians by means of naval expeditions. 
And the worst point in the case was that they were now 
fully resolved, instead of recurring to their former method 
of carrying on the war and undertaking annual campaigns, 
to occupy permanently a fortified position on Attic soil ; 
for which purpose they, in obedience to the advice of Al- 
cibiades, selected the best locality to be found in Attica. 

Glancing from Athens to the north, the eye meets the 
lofty wall of Parnes, falling off towards the right in the 
direction of Brilessus. But, before the branches of Mount 

Parnes end in the hilly country of the Dia- 
Deceiea. cria, a deep indentation is perceptible in the 

ridge of the mountain, the crescent-formed 
curve of which forms a very peculiar line on the northern 
horizon. On the rocky summit above this indentation lay 
Decelea, one of the ancient cities of the ancient Attic Do- 
decapolis, fourteen miles distant from Athens, and as many 
from the Boeotian frontier. At this point the highroads 
passed across the hilly district of the Diacria towards 
Eubcea ; the one leading immediately under Decelea, the 
other, only slightly further to the east, by way of Aphidna. 
Thus both these roads were commanded by the position 

Chap, v.] The Deceleaa War. 425 

chosen by the Spartans. They fortified a steep peak above 
Decelea, and the Athenians ventured upon no attempt at 
dislodging them. This success was of such importance, 
that even in ancient times it gave the name of the Dece- 
lean War to the entire last division of the Peloponnesian 
War. The occupation of Decelea forms the connecting 
link between the Sicilian War and the Attico-Peloponne- 
sian, which now broke out afresh. This measure was in 
the first instance designed a3 an intervention in favor of 
the Syracusans ; while, with reference to the treaties, which 
had continued in force for a term of eight years, it consti- 
tuted the commencement of the second war between Athens 
and Sparta. Its immediate object, however, it failed to 
effect; inasmuch as the Athenians did not allow it to pre- 
vent their despatching a fresh armament to Sicily. But 
when, half a year later, all was lost, the Athenians felt 
more heavily than ever the burden imposed upon them by 
the occupation of Decelea. 

The city was cut off from its most important source of 
supplies, since the enemy had in his power the roads com- 
municating with Euboea. The sea-passage was still open 
to the Athenians, but this involved far greater difficulties 
and loss of time ; while at the same time their tenure of 
the island — a tenure which they could not afford to spare 
— was itself in danger. But even of their own country a 
considerable part was under the enemy's control, together 
with a large number of villages and farms, of woods and 
of pasture-land. One-third of Attica no longer belonged 
to the Athenians, and even in the immediate vicinity of 
the city communication was unsafe ; large numbers of the 
country-people, deprived of labor and means of sub- 
sistence, thronged the city ; the citizens were forced night 
and day to perform the onerous duty of keeping watch ; 
in short, all the difficulties and all the troubles of the first 
year of the war had returned on a larger scale. No time 
was now allowed for recruiting the exhausted strength of 

426 History of Greece. C b <>ok iv 

the commonwealth. A far heavier visitation had befallen 
the country, out of whose resources a hostile army was 
uninterruptedly supporting itself; and, in particular, the 
slaves who desired to escape from their masters were 
henceforth supplied with a permanent place of refuge 
during the entire course of the year. They escaped by 
thousands to Decelea, where it was in their power to 
perform the most important services for the enemy. In 
this predicament an increase of severity availed nothing ; 
so that the citizens, on the contrary, found themselves 
obliged to introduce a more considerate mode of treating 
their domestic slaves, in order in this way to stay the 
spread of the evil.* 

Under these circumstances, heavy losses 
Financial i n property and revenues were suffered, not 
Athens. only by single individuals, but also by the 

state as a whole. The judicial dues and 
fines, in particular, which constituted a large proportion 
of the public revenues of Athens, could for the most part 
be no longer levied : because no parties came to Athens 
to sue for law, and because in the city itself the citizens 
had no leisure for sitting in the law-courts. Moreover, 
there was a cessation of many other sources of revenue, 
in the matter of rents, market-dues, &c. ; so that there 
now ensued, in consequence both of the enormous expendi- 
ture for the Sicilian war and of the present losses, a period 
of financial pressure, such as Athens had never known 
before. She could no longer dare to levy forced illegal 
contributions upon the allies ; since she was now not even 

*For a more accurate picture of Decelea and its vioinity, see the 
author's Sieben Ka^ten ztir Topogr. von Athen (Seven Maps in aid of the 
Topograph)/ of Athens), tahle vii. The total number of slaves (chiefly 
handicraftsmen) who deserted, exceeded 20,000 (Thuc. vii. 27). Boeckh, 
Disser'ation on the Silver Mines of Lanrion, p 471 [Engl. Tr.]. As to 
the adoption of a more considerate mode in tho treatment of slaves, see 
Ar. Nub 5 A supposed act on the subject conjectured from Anon. 
Probl. Bhet. 50 (Walz, Bhel. p. 4). Meier, de bonis damn. p. 50. 

Chap, v.] Tfte Decelean War. 427 

certain of their legal payment, and had no means at her 
command for the application of force. A 
totally new mode of proceeding was accord- New financial 
ingly adopted under the prevailing pres- 
sure, for obtaining larger and more certain revenues, 
without pressing upon the allies. Direct taxation was 
abolished, and in its place a duty of five per cent, intro- 
duced, to be levied upon imports and exports in all the 
harbors of the allied cities. These duties were farmed 
out, and a new species of Attic publicans, the elxotnoldpot, 
i. e. y collectors of twentieths, overspread the Attic do- 
minions. This plan, however, appears not to have met 
with the desired success ; the customs-officers made Athens 
and themselves odiou3 to all the allies, and the whole 
innovation merely contributed to increase the confusion 
existing in the public finances.* 

The single piece of good fortune which 
befell the Athenians in the midst of their Constitutional 


troubles at home and abroad, was the cir- 
cumstance, that Sparta and her confederates were not at 
hand with sufficient speed to take advantage of the first 
moment of terror, so as to strike a decisive blow against 
the city. The Athenians were allowed time to recover 
themselves, and to summon up courage for a new struggle. 
The citizens were united in their determination to risk 
everything, in order to maintain the state at its previous 
height of power ; they were well aware that nothing 
would be gained by negotiation or concession, and they 
were resolved to enter upon the struggle, confiding in the 
protection of the gods. 

But not merely had the external foundations of the 

*The eUoa-Tr) riov Kara. QaXawav (Thuc. vii. 28), with which a new 
principle was, by way of trial, applied to the treatment of the allies, was 
introduced 01. xci. 4 (b.c. 413), acjording to Bo^ckh, P. E. p. 401 
[Engl. Tr.] An imprecation is uttered against an eiKooroAoyos at so late a 
date as that of the Ran. (v. 363). 

428 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

Attic power been shaken by the recent calamity ; it was 
not only money, men, vessels, and trustworthy allies that 
were wanting, but self-confidence too was absent, and a 
belief in the virtues of the constitution of the state. The 
Athenians felt too clearly, that the public calamity was 
not one as to which they were free from guilt ; that they 
had committed great faults, which again were so closely con- 
nected with the nature of the democracy, that their com- 
mission could not fail to cast discredit upon the democracy 
itself. Accordingly, the people would have nothing to say 
to the former leaders of the assembly ; the voices of the 
passionate demagogues were heard no longer ; the bema 
stood deserted. There was a total absence of eminent 
men enjoying an authority universally acknowledged ; 
and all eyes anxiously looked around for those who in 
these times of difficulty might be capable of guiding the 
state. Thus the party to which Nicias belonged — the 
party of the Moderates — now took the helm ; and with 
them combined those whose sentiments were hostile to the 
constitution, and who eagerly availed themselves of the 
present state of public opinion, in order to make inroads 
upon the constitution as by law established, and thus to 
prepare for the success of their revolutionary schemes. 
The great mass of the citizens were tame and docile. 
They calmly listened to proposals, which 

the n probuii. n o°i. on ^J a ^ ew montns a g° would have been 
xci. 4. (b. c. regarded as high treason, and hunted down 

413.) . . 

with passionate fury ; without a murmur 
they accorded their consent to changes of the utmost im- 
portance in the constitution of the state, and to the most 
essential limitations of their own power. For the men 
who now undertook the conduct of public affairs de- 
manded that attention should be directed, not only to 
what might at the present moment preserve the state and 
remedy its difficulties, but also to what might in future 
prevent the recurrence of similar calamities. The origi- 

Chap, v.] The Decelean War. 429 

nal cause of the whole evil they declared to be no other 
than the frivolous haste with which decrees of the most 
momentous character were passed in the assemblies of the 
citizens. They maintained that the Council of the Five 
Hundred, as it had bsen constituted, failed to offer the 
slightest guarantee for a rational method of conducting 
public affairs ; another public body was therefore needed 
— a board composed of men of mature age, who should 
examine all proposals and motions, after which only such 
among the latter as this board had sanctioned and ap- 
proved should come before the citizens. This new board 
was, at the same time, in urgent cases itself to propose 
the necessary measures, thus making possible a vigorous 
and reticent administration of affairs, and especially pro- 
viding for the strictest possible retrenchment in the expen- 
diture, so that the remaining resources of the state might 
be husbanded for its main objects. Thus the civic com- 
munity of Attica, which since the fall of the Areopagus 
had been free from all control (vol. ii. p. 427), was again 
placed under supervision ; and the significance of this 
change was heightened by the circumstance, that the 
sphere of action belonging to this new council was 
indefinitely large, but the number of its members ex- 
tremely restricted, so that it was all the easier to use 
them as the instrument of a party. The board consisted 
of ten men, who bore the name of Probuli (provisional 
councillors), and who were doubtless appointed by election 
from the ten tribes. The only member known to us with 
any certainty is Hagnon (p. 49), the founder of Am- 
phipolis, one of the persons of the highest rank and con- 
sideration among the citizens, and formerly an opponent 
of Pericles ; who accordingly in his political sentiments 
was probably connected with the party formerly led by 
Thucydides, the son of Melesias.* 

* Besides Hagnon we hear of a Probulus of the name of Sophocles 
(Arist. Bhet. ill. 18), in whom most authorities recognize the poet; t« 

430 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

The first care of the new board was the regulation o! 

the system of public income and expendi- 

Their first ture The gcale f outgoings in the matter 

measures. ° © 

of festivals, sacrifices, and games was re- 
duced ; and relief was afforded to the citizens by a new 
arrangement, permitting two persons to unite for the 
equipment of a festive chorus ; a similar division of ex- 
pense being allowed in the trierarchy. Perhaps the 
change of the tributes into port-dues mentioned above 
(p. 421) was included among the financial reforms of the 
Probuli. Hereupon, the utmost exertions were made in 
the matter of fresh armaments. Timber was brought 
from Thrace and Macedonia, and a new fleet constructed 
with the utmost zeal ; Sunium wa3 fortified, lest the enemy 
should there establish a naval station of his own capable 
of stopping the only passage by sea still remaining open 
to the Athenians, viz., that to Eubcea. At the same time 
the fortress served the purpose of supervision over the 
multitudes of slaves in the mines. The troops were 
massed together by calling in the garrisons stationed 
abroad, though some were still left at the posts previously 
occupied by them — particularly at Pylus. Lastly, every 
possible precaution was taken to watch the allies, to restore 
the authority of the city, and to revive confidence among 
the citizens. And it is also probable that it was at this^ 
period that, in order to make good the losses suffered, an 
amnesty was proclaimed, recalling the exiles, and restor- 
ing their civic rights to those who had been condemned in 
the trials on account of the mutilation of the Hermse,i.e., 
to as many of them as had not gone over to the enemy.* 
The autumn and winter months, which were employed 

■which I am unable to agree. "Wattenbach, de Quadring. Ath. fact. p. 22, 
suggests the son of Sostratides (Thuc. iii. 115). The Probuli seem to 
have remained in office beyond the term of a year. 

• : " Marcellinus, Life of Thuc. 6; cf. Kirchhoff as to the document eon 
eerning the iroik^rai of 01. xci. 3, in N. Jahrb.f. Phil. 1860, p. 217. 

Chap, v.] The Decelean War. 431 

as stated by the Athenians, were a period of the most 
anxious expectancy in every quarter. It was believed 
that a power which had held half Greece in subjection 
had been broken, and rendered incapable of sustaining 
its dominion. Accordingly, its fall was confidently 
expected to bring about a new order of things through- 
out the Mediterranean, and all the states from Susa 
to the Italian colonies were interested in this expected 
revolution. All the enemies of Athens armed, either 
openly or in secret ; none wishing to lose the advantages 
of the anticipated victory. So much seemed certain : 
that in the coming summer a judgment would be held 
over Athens ; and the oppressed allies, who had been 
obliged to sacrifice both property and lives on behalf of 
the ambitious city, looked forward, with a savage craving 
for vengeance, to the day on which they would call the 
Athenians to account for all the acts of violence perpe- 
trated by them in Mitylene, JEgina, Scione, Melos, &c. 
The Lacedaemonian confederates were persuaded that 
they only needed to exert themselves for a brief term, 
after which they would have for ever done with all the 
troubles of war : a conviction which increased their readi- 
ness for service both by land and by sea. 

The Peloponnesian system of operations centred in two 
points: Decelea and Sparta. King Agis 
had been invested with extraordinary pow- pa i JJ^of £g™~ 
ers for the northern scene of the war, so 
that he might immediately take advantage of every 
opportunity for damaging the Athenians. Hence, before 
the winter was at an end, he undertook extensive cam- 
paigns in the north, endeavored to revive the prosperity 
of Heraclea (p. 135), used measures of force to obtain 
hostages and pecuniary contributions for the Peloponne- 
sian fleet among the tribes of Mount (Eta, among the 
Phthiotians and Thessalians, and accepted the overtures 
of the deputies who arrived from the islands to secure the 

432 History of Greece. LBook tv. 

assistance of Sparta for the purpose of revolting against 
Athens. These transactions it was necessary to keep 
very secret, because the oligarchs, who now defiantly put 
themselves forward in all quarters, had to fear the hos- 
tility, not only of Athens, but also of the popular parties, 
whose leaders adhered to that state. Thus, fortunately 
for the Athenians, it was impossible for a general revolt 
to take place ; because the Spartans were without the 
means of simultaneously supporting their adherents in 
different places. They had to decide to whom they should 
give the preference; and, while attempting to arrive at 
this decision, displayed a want of certainty and resolution 
which helped iu no small degree to cripple the success of 
the Peloponnesians. Thus Agis in the first instance sent 
three public officers, accompanied by troops, to Euboea, 
which he rightly perceived to be the most vulnerable 
point of the Attic power, while at the same time it was 
most easy to excite a revolt in this island in conjunction 
with the Decelean war. But, soon afterwards, he again 
gave way to the urgent representations of the Boeotians, 
who wished aid to be, above all,sent to the Lesbians ; and 
he equipped ships and troops for this purpose. Hereby 
he scattered his forces in two directions, and from his 
post at Decelea implicated himself in the Asiatic war, the 
course of which was to be directed from Sparta. 

There, in the capital, a similar want of decision pre- 
vailed : not that an objection was felt even 
between ^issa- at tne l ast hour against entering into an 
p hemes and a niance with the Persians, but that a diffi- 


culty was created by the two-told character 
of the proposals made. For one party wished that above 
all Tissaphernes should be supported, and the other, that 
the wish of Pharnabazus should be granted, and the naval 
war opened on the Hellespont ; while Agis, conforming to 
the desires of the Boeotians, exerted his whole influence to 
induce the Spartans in the first instance to aid the Les- 

Chap. V.] The Decelean War. 433 

bians, who, he averred, had a claim for the speediest aid 
possible, on account of the disregard shown towards their 
interests on a previous occasion (p. 108). Under these 
circumstances a decisive influence was exercised by Alci- 
biades, who contrived to secure the voice of his adherents, 
the most powerful of whom was the ephor Endius, an oppo- 
nent of Agis, in favor of the proposals of Tissaphernes. 
Ionia certainly gave the best promise of 

, . , . . , . Sparta deter- 

success ; and this was the quarter where mines in tho 
Athens most keenly felt every loss suffered first ins t ance to 

* ^ carry the war 

by her. The Persian satraps had already into Ionia, oi. 
on several occasions made successful ad- JJSf ' ^ B * 
vances upon the Ionian coast : all the cities 
contained partizans of Persia, Ephesus in particular, which 
among all the maritime places had the most important 
trade with the interior, and was most accessible to the 
influences of the East. It is even probable that Ephesus 
had, already previously to the Sicilian calamity, become 
estranged from Athens, and fallen under the control of 
Tissaphernes. Chios was also ready to revolt — the most 
important of all the allied states, whose example could not 
fail to decide the conduct of all Ionia. All the cities were 
unfortified, and bare of garrisons and guard-ships. Hence 
the satrapy of Tissaphernes, in every point of view, ap- 
peared the most favorable scene of warfare. Moreover, 
his resources were far more considerable than those of 
Pharnabazus ; although he failed to support them, like the 
latter, by the offer of ready money. Lastly, Alcibiades 
possessed numerous adherents in the Ionian cities (p. 331), 
and could in the latter anticipate the earliest opportunity 
of brilliantly asserting the power of his influence. Thus, 
after manifold disputes, the plan of operations was deter- 
mined upon in accordance with his advice : Euboea and 
Lesbos were for the present left to themselves, while on the 
other hand Chios and Erythrsea were before the end of the 
winter (after an envoy had brought a satisfactory report 

434 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

as to the resources of the Chians) admitted into the Pelo- 
ponnesian confederation, and promised the first support 
It was proposed hereafter to extend the war in the direc- 
tion of the north, as it was not wished to decline the favors 
of Pharnabazus, and as the importance of the Hellespont 
4 for Athens was well understood. Such was the plan of 
operations for the coming summer, which was accepted by 
the confederates, and to which even Agis consented, since 
it was agreed that, immediately after Chios, Lesbos was to 
be the goal of the fleet, and that this expedition was to be 
conducted by Alcamenes, as Agis had provided.* 

The Peiopon- The fleet itself was in course of construc- 
nesian fleet. t i on# j^ tota l strength was fixed at 100 
ships of war ; 25 having been undertaken by Sparta, and 
the same number by Thebes; 15 were furnished by the 
Corinthians, 15 by the Phocians and Locrians ; the re- 
maining 20 were distributed partly among the Arcadians, 
Pellenseans, and Sicyonians, partly among the Megareans 
and the cities of the coast. A considerable auxiliary 
force was in addition expected from Sicily ; and 60 ships 
were in readiness at Chios. No time was to be lost ; for 
the movement in Ionia began to make itself perceptible, 
and the Chians incessantly urged all possible despatch. 

And yet the whole business was conducted 

Change in the . 

Pcioponnesian iu a lame and clumsy iasnion. It was at 
P lans - first intended, that ten ships should start di- 

rect from Laconia under Melancridas ; but, when every- 
thing was in readiness, an earthquake took place, and ter- 
rified the Spartans to such a degree, that they relinquished 
the whole expedition, substituting Chalcideus as admiral 
for Melancridas, and determining to make the Corinthian 

* As to the Spartan plans for the conduct of the war, see Thuc. viii. 
8 f. According to Herbst, Jitickkehr d. AlHb. p. 51, the hundred best 
triremes (cf. Thuc. ii. 2t) were still in existence. But why docs Thucy- 
dides speak of money only? As to the payment «'* rS>v (? xtAtwi/ rakavroiv 
twv) ei? rds rpiTjpets. ch. Boeckh, P. E. o/Ath. vol. ii. p. 19 i. [Engl. Tr.]. 

Chap, v.] The Decelcan War. 435 

shore, and not Gytheum, the starting-point of the naval 
war: a resolution which superinduced further delays and 
mishaps.* For, although the Corinthians hastened to 
transport twenty-one vessels across the Isthmus to Cen- 
chrese, and to take all necessary measures for setting sail, 
they were unwilling to disturb the celebration of the Isth- 
mian games, from which, together with the fair held at the 
same time, they derived so considerable a profit ; and they 
were equally disinclined to accede to the proposal of Agis, 
who declared himself ready to command the fleet in hia 
own name. The consequence was, that the Athenians in 
the interval sent a message to Chios, demanding seven 
ships from the Chians, which were immediately furnished 
by the latter, since the Spartan party was still without the 
means of actually accomplishing the revolt.f Ajid at the 
Isthmian games, which fell in April or May, deputies from 
Athens were, at the invitation of Corinth, present among 
the rest, and here the plans of the Pelopomicsians became 
palpably manifest. The Athenians hereupon resorted to 
the most vigorous measures for preventing the intended 
expedition. For, besides the delay, the confederates com- 
mitted another important blunder in making the Saronic 
Gulf the scene of" their armaments, — as if Athens had 
ceased to exist and there was no hostile power to oppose 
them. As soon, therefore, as the Corinthian fleet set sail 
with the ships of Agis, they were attacked by an Attic 
squadron of equal numbers. The Peloponnesians avoided 
a collision, and held back. But, when they set sail once 
more, they beheld a still larger number of hostile ships 
coming to meet them, which drove them back upon the 
Peloponnesian coast, blockading them in a bay of the 
harbor called Pirseeus, and there inflicted 

Blockade of the 

heavy damage upon them. Alcamenes Peloponnesians 
himself was slain. This was the first sue- in Piraeeus - 0L 

XC.. 4. (B. C 

cess obtained by the Athenians, after their 412.) Spring. 

* Thuc. viii. 6. f Thuc. viii. 9. 

436 History of Greece. L b <>ok IV. 

recent losses, and it inspired them with new courage; 
while on the other hand its effects so deeply depressed 
the Peloponnesians, that it was resolved at Sparta to 
relinquish the whole Ionian war, against which a strong 
dislike,after all, still continued to exist among the citizens. 
And this resolution would have doubtless been acted 

upon, but for the presence of Alcibiade.1. 
Aicibiades m jj e con trived to make use of the blockading 

of the Corinthian fleet, so as to derive great 
advantages for his own views from the circumstance ; for 
he was, above all, interested in being able to show, that it 
was in his power, even without a fleet, to bring about the 
revolt of Ionia, and a combination between Sparta and 
Persia. He managed to gain over the ephors to his 
views ; he availed himself of their jealousy against Agis 
(who was his personal enemy, on account of a criminal 
intrigue between Aicibiades and the wife of the king) ; 
and to Endius in particular he represented the great 
advantage gained by the frustration of the king's am- 
bitious hopes of triumphs in Ionia. With an audacity 
astonishing all his hearers, and securing the adhesion of 
even those who at first hesitated, he declared that there 
was absolutely no need of the ships. It was only neces- 
sary for the Spartans to be at Chios before the news of the 
mishap in the Corinthian Gulf reached that island ; for 
everything further he promised to provide himself. Ac- 
cordingly, the former resolution was revoked, and the five 
vessels (for this was the largest number which Sparta had 
been able to equip) set sail under Chalcideus and Aici- 
biades. After a rapid voyage they reached their goal, and 
as soon as the small squadron had anchored at Chios, the 
aristocratic party no longer hesitated plainly to declare its 
intentions. The terrified multitude did not venture upon 
resistance. Aicibiades, who represented the ships actually 
at Chios as merely the forerunners of a large fleet of war, 
contrived by means of his influence to remove all diffi- 

Chap, v.] The Decelean War. 437 

culties. Erythrae immediately followed the example of 
Chios. Finally, Clazomenye was also induced openly to 
give in its adhesion, although not more than three ships 
were detached thither. The new confederates were asked 
to carry on their armaments and fortification-works with 
all possible zeal. The flame of war burst furth, as if lit 
by a sudden flash of lightning ; the revolt of Ionia had 
commenced, and Sparta issued her commands in the heart 
of the enemy's dominions. Never were great results 
achieved by more insignificant means.* 

Hitherto no enemy had openly met the Spartans ; for 
Strombichides, who had set sail from the 
Corinthian coast in order to intercept the Significance 

. _ . ■*■ _ attached to the 

squadron of Chalcideus, had missed it. rJut revolt of Chios, 
now Athens resolved upon exerting herself 
to the utmost, in order to maintain her supremacy in 
Ionia. The open revolt of Chios created a tremendous 
impression. This island had always been treated with 
peculiar consideration ; Chios was esteemed as the pearl 
among the allied cities ; her name was mentioned in the 
prayers offered up at the public sacrifices for the welfare 
of the state ; and only recently Eupolis, in the comedy in 
which the allied cities formed the chorus (p. 188), had 
celebrated Chios, " the fair city which sends vessels of war 
and men, whensoever the need arises, and is ever docile, 
like a steed which requires no whip." The defection of 
Chios was regarded as the signal for a general revolt on 
the part of the allies. The Athenians determined to make 
use of all their resources, and even to apply the reserve 
fund of 1,000 talents in the citadel, which, 
according to a law of Pericles, was to be The reserved 

, n . . . n, ,. fund apnlied for 

saved lor an extreme crisis, ^. e., lor a direct its suppression. 

attack upon the city and port. For the 

Ionian revolt was looked upon as an attack upon the very 

* Thuc. viii. 14. 

438 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

existence of the state : so that the occasion was held to 
justify an interpretation in this sense of the law in ques- 
tion. Thus money was procured for manning ships. All 
the triremes in reserve were drawn forth from the naval 
arsenals, and ships and crews marked off according to the 
nature of the service required from them. The blockad- 
ing squadron, which formed the most efficient part of the 
fleet, was immediately sent to Ionia, its place being sup- 
plied by other vessels. The free Chians on the seven 
triremes were placed in chains, while the slaves on the 
same vessels were liberated ; and the most comprehensive 
measures were taken for preventing the further spread of 
the revolt.* 

And yet it was impossible to stay the progress of such 

an adversary as Alcibiades. Strombichides 

the io^alTwar. endeavored to hold Teos with nine vessels, 

01. xci. 4. (b. c. where the Athenians had built a fort to 

412.) Spring. . . . . it. 

protect the neighboring country ; but his 
attempts were fruitless/)" Alcibiades had already col- 
lected an Ionian fleet of twenty-three ships, and com- 
manded the sea. He left the Peloponnesian sailors 
behind at Chios as land troops, to guard the government 
there asrainst revolts and attacks; and in their place 
manned his vessels with Chian sailors. He then hastened 
on to Miletus, in order, with the help of the power created 
by himself, to secure the adhesion of the ancient capital 
of Ionia. For, instead of waiting for reinforcements, he 
was solely and constantly actuated by a fear, that they 
might arrive sooner than was agreeable to his ambition. 
The Athenians could do nothing but assume an attitude 
of observation off the island of Lade (vol. ii., p. 210), 

* Chios and Athens : Schol. Av. Av. 880 ; Eupolis in Fragm. Com. ii. 509 ; 
Ka\r) ttoAis— 7Tf>7ret yUp rifilv vavs /xa/cpis avdpa<s 6' brav Sejja-jj, «ai TaAAa 7rei0apx« 
»caAw?, airA>j/cTO? uxmep vnnos. 

f Thuc. viii. 16. 

Chap. V.] Tlie Decelean War. 439 

while the Milesians, gained over by Alcibiades, revolted 
from Athens.* 

And now Sparta was at last able to attain 
to that for which she had so long felt an f the^ublidk s 
anxious craving, viz., the enjoyment of Per- between Tissa- 

° J J phemes and the 

sian subsidies. For the extraordinary sue- spartans. 01. 
cesses which had accompanied the com- J"* . 4 * ^ B ' c * 
mencement of the Ionian war induced Tissa- 
phernes to quit his attitude of expectation, and to declare 
himself ready actually to conclude a treaty, like a master 
who takes a servant into his pay, after that servant has 
given a proof of his efficiency. In Miletus, Tissaphernes 
had an interview with Chalcideus, and in the name of the 
Great King and the Spartan state they signed a document, 
the introductory article of which secured to the king all 
the countries and cities which he at the present moment 
possessed, or which his ancestors had possessed at any 
previous date. The king and the Lacedaemonians unite 
to prevent any kind of tribute or duties being paid from 
these countries to the Athenians. Neither party to the 
treaty is to make peace with Athens independently of the 
other. Every rebel against the king is to be regarded by 
Lacedaemonians as their own enemy; and similarly, all 
those who may revolt against Sparta and her confederation 
are to be regarded as his enemies by the king.f 

No proviso had been included in the treaty imposing 
upon the Persians the payment of a fixed sum on acconnt 
of the troops, although this advantage was the only one 
for the sake of which the Lacedaemonians had brought 
themselves to consent to such a treaty. In other respects, 
it brought them nothing but disgrace and loss ; for they 
who had entered the war as the liberators of the oppressed 
Hellenes, now voluntarily gave into the hands of the bar- 

* Alcibiades at Miletus: Thuc. viii. 17; Plut. Ale. 24. 

f First subsidy-treaty : Thuc. viii. 18 : cf Nikolai, Politik d. Tiaaw 

440 History of Greece. L BoOK IV - 

barians the entire series of the cities of Asia Minor, — nay, 
if the provisions of the document were considered in all 
their bearings, they sacrificed even European Greece, as 
far as the Corinthian Gulf. The Spartans even undertook 
the obligation of subjecting to the barbarians the land 
which their ancestors had liberated ; they gave the lie to 
the great days of Platseae and Mycale, and destroyed the 
results of those victories ; they committed the decision of 
the Greek quarrel to the hands of the Great King, and al- 
lowed the hereditary foe of the nation to guarantee the ex- 
istence of their confederacy. On the other hand, the po- 
licy of Persia, at a time when the empire had fallen into 
extremities of decay, and when the royal authority had 
sunk so low as to be forced to seek a support in the mu- 
tual hostilities of the satraps, celebrated a triumph as com- 
plete as it was unhoped for, and, moreover, one which cost 
the empire absolutely nothing. The Persians saw their 
ancient claims to supremacy, to which they had obstinately 
adhered, recognized, to their full extent, by the very ene- 
mies before whom they had everywhere succumbed. And 
Tissaphernes personally had without trouble secured the 
most important results in furtherance of his own interests. 
Amorges had been removed ; Miletus, together with the 
other cities on the coast, were in Tissaphernes' hands; he 
wielded a dominion over his satrapy, such as none of his 
predecessors had possessed since the battle of Mycale ; and, 
although he had for the present consented to act in union 
with Chios and Erythrse as with equal powers (p. 422), 
yet he had good grounds for presuming, that he would soon 
succeed in putting an end to the independence of these 
states, which he had temporarily acknowledged. 

A treaty so humiliating and disadvantageous to the 
Greeks could not exercise any but pernicious effects : inas- 
much as it blunted the sense of honor of the Spartan sol- 
diers, roused the indignation of those animated by worthier 
sentiments, and brought contempt upon the state. Alci' 

Chap. V.] The Dccelean War. 441 

biades, for his part, endeavored to explain away all diffi- 
culties; he represented to the Spartans that money was 
the indispensable condition for effecting the humiliation of 
Athens, and hinted that to the other points in the treaty no 
very serious attention need be paid. He was the only man 
among the Greeks to whom this treaty was really advant. - 
geous. By bringing it about, he had conferred an obligation 
upon Tissaphernes, and had forged a weapon for himself, 
which might be used in the first instance against Athens, 
and afterwards, if he so wished, against Sparta herself. 

The course of the war was not sensibly af- 
fected by the conclusion of the treaty. In Furt ??J pr0 " 

J J grcss of the war 

the latter half of the summer new forces ar- in Ionia. 01. 
rived from either side, without any decisive J^V g U m,ner. 
event ensuing. The Peloponnesian ships at 
last succeeded in breaking their blockade ; and four of 
them, under Astyochus (the successor of Alcamenes), upon 
whom the supreme command was now conferred as Lace- 
daemonian admiral, sailed to Ionia. The Chians were un- 
wearied in cruising about, and induced several other coast- 
towns to revolt, among them even the two most important 
cities on Lesbos, Mitylene and Methymna (hitherto so 
faithful an ally of Athens). These attempts were success- 
ful, even after the Athenians had reinforced their Ionian 
fleet by twenty-six ships. In Samos the 

• , ,« , i ,' j • n n Revolution at 

aristocratic party also stirred in favor of g amos> 
Sparta; but in this case the movement took 
a different course. The people, aided by a few Attic ships, 
rose against the aristocrats, of whom 200 were cut to pieces 
and 400 expelled, their property being confiscated. A se- 
vere judgment was held over the whole nobility of the 
island, who were henceforth entirely excluded from the 
national community, all the citizens binding themselves by 
an oath not to marry any daughter of their own to a noble, 
or themselves take to wife a noble's daughter.* This party 

* Thuc. viii. 21. 


442 History of Greece. t 1300 * Iv - 

victory shows the amount of bitter mutual hatred which 
had accumulated here ; while, at the same time, it gave a 
blow to the Spartano-Persian party compensating for many 
previous losses. For the newly-organized state now at- 
tached itself most closely to the Athenians, who felt so 
sure of the fidelity of the Samians, that they were able to 
grant them perfect independence, and an unfettered rela- 
tion towards Athens as her allies. The Athenians now en- 
joyed the advantage of being again able to appear as the 
champions of the national cause in Ionia as against the 
Spartans ; they possessed a strong and happily situated 
point of support for their undertakings, and could thus 
,.iope vigorously to counteract further attempts at revolt. 
Mitylene and Clazomense were retaken ; Chalcideus was 
xiefeated and slain in the territory of Miletus ; Chios was 
attacked, and this flourishing island, which had remained 
unhurt since the Persian wars, suffered so greatly from 
three successive invasions, that its inhabitants began to be 
extremely discontented with the policy of their govern- 
ment. Towards the end of the summer an Attic fleet at 
last arrived, numbering forty-eight ships, and carrying 
3,500 heavy-armed troops, under Phrynichus, the son of 
Stratonides, Onomacles, and Scironides. Their intention 
was to take Miletus, and thus to put an end to the whole 
Ionian revolt. A battle was fought with 

Naval battle 

of Miletus. 01. the Milesians, Peloponnesians, and Persians, 
412). Autumn! * n wn ^ cn great losses were inflicted by the 
Ionians upon the Doric allies of Athens, the 
Argives, in consequence of their disorderly method of at- 
tack ; while, on the other hand, the Athenians gained such 
advantages over the Peloponnesians, that they took mea- 
sures for laying immediate siege to Miletus itself. Miletus 
was lost, and the enemy's control over Ionia at an end, 
unless relief arrived. But, before the blockade of the 
city was complete, a new fleet made its approach. 

It was the most dangerous of all their enemies, 

Chap. V.] The Decelean War. 443 

Arrival of Hermocrates, who again prevented the 

Hermocrates in . . . . 

the lasian Gulf. Athenians from achieving the victory 
which they already deemed certain. He 
had caused himself to be sent, with twenty vessels from 
Syracuse and two from Selinus, to continue the war of 
vengeance in the iEgean, and to inflict upon Athens her 
death-blow. To the democrats in Syracuse his absence 
was not unwelcome ; they had, accordingly, instead of 
opposing his plans, contented themselves with restricting 
his forces within limits so narrow as to leave him incapa- 
ble of undertaking anything without assistance. He had 
immediately started for Peloponnesus, and had there 
urged haste, and united his ships to those lying ready to 
sail at Gytheum. The total force now amounted to fifty- 
five ships, which were despatched under the Lacedaemonian 
Theramenes, to reinforce Astyochus. Immediately after 
the battle fought at Miletus, they arrived in the Iasian 
Gulf. Alcibiades, who had himself been present at the 
battle, hurried on horseback to lasus, in order to bring 
these unexpected auxiliaries to the spot without any 
further delay. The Athenians lacked neither the spirit, 
nor the inclination, for giving battle to the united fleets in 
the Milesian Gulf ; but the opinion of the cautious Phry- 
nichus was allowed to prevail. He declared, that it 
would be running an inexcusable risk to venture the fleet 
equipped from the last resources of the city upon the 
chances of a single battle. The Athenians retreated to 
Samos, and the victory of Miletus remained without 
results. The enemies, meanwhile, conferred an obligation 
upon Tissaphernes by proceeding to lasus, taking it for 
him, and, as officious servants of his will, delivering up to 
him their prisoner Amorges (p. 420.)* 

The following winter was equally undistinguished by 

* Phrynichus : Thuc. viii. 25. Hermocrates : ibid. 26. Amorges 
ibid. 28. 

444 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

Tissaphemes an y even t of importance on the theatre 

lowers the rjitrG 

of pay. 01. xcii. of the war; yet, upon the whole, mat- 
Winter ' 4U '^ ters assume( l an aspect more favorable 
to Athens, inasmuch as the situation of 
Chios grew worse from day to day, while very serious 
disputes broke out within the hostile confederation : in 
the first instance between the Chians and Astyochus, 
whose inactivity roused the ire of the former ; and then 
between Tissaphemes and the Peloponnesian fleet. The 
satrap disbursed the first installment of pay at Miletus, 
each man on board receiving a drachm per day, in 
accordance with the promise made by Tissaphemes at 
Sparta. But he at the same time declared, that he could 
in future only pay half that sum, until he should have 
received authority from the Great King to pay a full 
drachm to each man. The Sicilian expedition had raised 
the rate of pay for naval service ; but after its termina- 
tion the Athenians had, doubtless, themselves returned to 
a lower rate ; and thus with them half a drachm remained 
the ordinary amount. No treaty-obligation of paying a 
higher rate could be proved against Tissaphemes; but 
his conduct gave rise to feelings of extreme bitterness, not 
only on account of selfish considerations, but also because 
the higher rate of the Persian pay constituted the most 
effectual means of weakening the naval force of the 
Athenians, whose men were by it induced to desert their 
service. Accordingly, Hermocrates in particular, to 
whom the entire method of conducting the war and the 
state of dependence upon the Persians were an abomina- 
tion, vehemently opposed the satrap ; and it was only with 
considerable difficulty that an agreement was brought 
about, in which Tissaphemes declared his readiness to pay 
three talents monthly for every five ships : i. e., 36 minse 
instead of 30 per ship, and to each man 3? obols instead 
of three. This increase Tissaphemes believed himself 
able to grant, even without having first obtained the 

Chap, v.] The Decelean War, 445 

king's assent. This unworthy bargaining for an increase 
in the pay created a very bad impression ; and the general 
discontent would have been even stronger, had not the 
crews consoled themselves with the ample spoils obtained 
at the capture of Iasus. The Peloponnesians were there- 
fore even now unwilling to take part in any decisive 
undertaking against the Athenians, who had increased 
their fleet to 104 ships, or in general to conduct the war 
in Ionia according to a regular plan ; and they preferred 
isolated flying expeditions from Miletus, as e. g. y one to 
Cnidus, which had revolted against Tissa- 

i ,, , ., . ,. , . , Second treaty 

phernes. Meanwhile, the discontent which f subsidies he- 
had manifested itself against the first treaty tW( l e " ?P arta 

° ( * and Persia. 

with the Persians, occasioned the conclu- 
sion of a second. It was pointed out to them, that the 
Peloponnesians were at the present time surely entitled to 
advance higher claims, than when they had commenced 
the Ionian campaign with one or two ships under Chalci- 
deus. And, in fact, a few points were softened down in 
favor of the Greek national honor, and a more definite 
agreement was arrived at with regard to the money-pay- 
ments ; but in the main points no alteration took place.* 
But the most important event of the Alcibiades 

winter was the change which occurred in passes from the 
the position of Alcibiades. He had per- C amp to Tissa- 
formed the most valuable service for the P h . e . rne f- 01 - 

XC11. 1. (b. c. 

Spartans, all of whose successes were his 412.) Close of 
work. The prominent position assumed by u umn ' 
this stranger in itself wounded the Spartans' notions of 
honor in a most sensitive point ; and to this jealousy was 
added the deadly hatred of his enemies, who pursued him 
with a constantly increasing vehemence, while his ad- 
herents were either, like Chalcideus, dead, or had, like 

* As to the rates of pay, Boeckh, P. E. vol. i. pp. 367-9 [Engl. Tr.]. 
Herbst, u. s. p. 8. 

446 History of Greece. L b °ok IV. 

Endius, in the meantime lost their official position. The 
bitterest of these enemies was Agis, who found himself 
thoroughly thrown into the shade by Alcibiades. The 
seduction of his queen Timsea (p. 428) was a public 
scandal of the most intolerable character; jokes were 
pointed at it on the Attic stage, and Alcibiades is himself 
said to have boasted with audacious insolence, that his 
descendants would at some future time occupy the throne 
of the Heraclidse.* Since the services of Alcibiades had 
come to be regarded as superfluous, he was also no longer 
safe of his life in the Lacedaemonian camp ; for if he was 
to be got rid of, nothing short of his death could ward off 
the consequences of his hostility. And it was his death 
for which the eager vengeance of his opponents called ; 
until they procured an order from the authorities at 
Sparta, commissioning Astyochus to make away with 
him. But Alcibiades was warned — as the story goes — by 
Timaea. He had been long prepared for a case like the 
present. He had accordingly, from the first, taken advan- 
tage of his negotiations with Tissaphernes, to secure the 
good-will of the latter. Alcibiades had already secured 
every advantage which he had wished to obtain in taking 
the Spartan side. Half Attica was in the enemy's hands; 
in the harbor of Miletus a fleet was anchored, paid with 
Persian money ; his fellow-citizens had by this time come to 
understand the significance of the enmity of an Alcibiades. 
He now intended a new revolution in affairs to take place, 
which again was to depend solely upon his own personal 
influence. He accordingly secretly quitted the Peloponne- 
sian camp, and repaired to the head-quarters of the 
satrap ; who, in conformity with ancient Persian policy, 
gladly welcomed this powerful partisan to his court." f 

* Alcibiades and Timasa on the comic stage; Athen. 547 D: B'ahr ad 
Plut. Ale p. 200. 

f Thuc. viii. 45; Hertzberg, AlJc. p. 249 f. ; C. F. Ranke ad Meineke's 
Ariateph. p. xliv. ; cf. Lysistr. vii. 490,523. 

Chap, v.] Jf ie Decelean War. 447 

All these events had taken place immediately after the 
battle of Miletus; and the Lacedaemonians very soon 
discovered that the man who had concluded the treaty 
with Persia had it equally in his power to break that 
treaty up again. For already the sudden decrease in the 
rate of pay mentioned above was due to the influence of 
Alcibiades, who had scarcely escaped the daggers of the 
Spartans, before he also held in his hands the means of 
taking his revenge upon them. 

As at Sparta he had been a Spartan, so now at the 
satrap's court he became a Persian grandee. 
He easily accommodated himself to eveiy ^l^u*** 
new mode of life, as if he had been to its 
manner born, and, according to circumstances, altered 
with his dress his language and outward habits. Soon the 
fugitive adventurer had become the confidential adviser 
and minister of Tissaphernes ; and he directed the foreign 
policy of the state here, as he had at Sparta. It should 
be remembered, that the Persians had only very recently 
recommenced interfering in the affairs of the Greek sea, 
herein simply following certain rude traditions of the 
policy of the Achsemenidse. The only qualifications with 
which the present Persians entered upon this endeavor, 
were the ancient Persian pride, and the ancient feeling 
of contempt towards the Greek nation : but they utterly 
lacked any more accurate knowledge as to the mutual 
relations and comparative strength of the different states. 
Alcibiades therefore arrived at the right moment for 
pointing out to Tissaphernes the proper mode of proceed- 
ing. Persia, he told him, ought not to become the ally of 
any one of the Greek states : for it was her interest to 
keep both the leading Greek powers weak. Not Athens 
alone was dangerous, but Sparta also ; the more so, be- 
cause, if the latter once gained power in Ionia, she might 
easily think of extending that power into the interior — a 
course which would never be entered upon by a naval 

448 History of Greece. L B ^ 0K IV. 

state. It would therefore be much easier to arrive at an 
agreement as to a partition of power with Athens, than 
with Sparta. The latter should therefore not be allowed 
to become arrogant. She ought to be baited w T ith money, 
but not satisfied. It was a far wiser course to gain over 
the individual naval commanders by presents of money, 
which might be given according to the satrap's own choice, 
in order to secure the dependence of the men of influence. 

Alcibiades advised Tissaphernes in this sense, and acted 
in his name. The Chians' applications for money were 
contemptuously rejected. They were reminded that they 
were the wealthiest capitalists in Greece, and yet were 
unwilling to attain to their ends, except at other men's 
cost. The Phoenician fleet was held at a distance, and 
everything was avoided likely to bring the war to a deci- 
sive stage. The belligerent states were mutually to 
weaken and destroy one another, in order that in the end 
the supreme power might of itself fall into the hands of 
the Great King. 

Tissaphernes was delighted with these counsels, which 
were equally agreeable to his avarice and to his hatred of 
the Greeks. He left full freedom of action to Alcibiades, 
who, as he believed, had freed him from all his difficul- 
ties ; he honored him at his court in every possible way,, 
and even named the new pleasure-grounds at Sardes after 
his benefactor. But, in point of fact, Alcibiades only 
worked for his own ends ; for as when in the service of 
Sparta he had gained for himself the favor of Tissa- 
phernes, so at the latter's court he was really laboring to 
earn the gratitude of the Athenians.* 

Since he had quitted the Peloponnesian 
Ulterior fleet, he had narrowed the gulf separating 

schemes of Alci- ,. « i_-j.ii • •■ mi 

biades. him from his tellow-citizens. lhey were 

now aware, that it was not his intention to 

* Thuc. viii. 45 ; Plut. Ale. 24. 

Chap, v.] The Decelean War. '449 

triumph with Sparta over Athens. He had virtually 
become their ally from the moment of his rupture with 
Sparta. To him it was to be ascribed, that the Phoeni- 
cian fleet, w T hich, if united with the Peloponnesian, was 
capable of annihilating Athens, was kept back far away 
in the Syrian sea ; it was he who stopped the Persian pay- 
ments, who created discord in the head-quarters of the 
enemy, who made Chios suffer for her revolt, and who 
caused a delay giving the Athenians time to collect their 
forces. It seemed inconceivable, that it could be his 
intention permanently to remain in the Persian camp. 
Moreover, he already began to occupy himself with affairs 
at Athens, and to form connections there. For he wished 
to return ; and this intention he could not realize other- 
wise than by means of new party struggles. Civic dis- 
turbances were to pave the way for his return home. 

During the last few years Athens had been more 
tranquil than for a long period previously. All the 
citizens were exerting their utmost strength, in order to 
make possible the preservation of the state ; and all eyes 
were directed towards the events taking place abroad. In 
the field, as well as at home, the citizens were engaged in 
arduous military service. Their attention was restricted 
to what was imperatively necessary; and the wise modera- 
tion which had characterized the conduct of public affairs 
since the failure of the Sicilian expedition, continued to 
prevail. The first terrors had now passed away, and the 
possibility of still making a resistance had been proved : 
but how could permanent results and an ultimately suc- 
cessful issue be anticipated, in view of the exhaustion of 
the public resources, and of the combination recently 
effected between Persia and Sparta ? The war was being 
protracted into the second winter, and a general feeling of 
weariness supervened : no genuine ardor prevailed in any 
quarter for continuing the struggle. 

450 History of Greece. t B <>°K IV. 

Under these circumstances the idea was 
Oligarchic bruited — in the first instance among the 

schemes at , , . . , 

Athens for wealthy citizens, who had most to suffer 

oonst!tufion he from the burd ens of the war, particularly 
among the ship-captains at the Samian sta 
tion— of making possible a termination of the war by 
means of a radical alteration of the constitution, since they 
perceived, that, so long as the multitude held sway at 
Athens, there could be no question of an agreement with 
Sparta. The leaders of this movement were the heads of 
the oligarchical associations, which had first proved their 
strength during the prosecutions of the mutilators of the 
Herrase ; and the prevailing state of public feeling made 
it easy for them to gain the assent of many an honest pa- 
triot to their plans. 

A determining impulse was given to this 

supported by f * ° 

Alcibiades. movement by Alcibiades. He established 

communications with the more influential 
oligarchs of the Samian camp, holding out to them the 
prospect of pecuniary aid from Tissaphernes, and of the 
friendship of the Great King, and promising them all the 
support it was in his own power to give, if they succeeded 
in bringing about the overthrow of the constitution. As- 
suredly, he said, no man could expect him once more to 
confide his destinies to the baneful democracy which had 
driven him into exile ; and it was equally out of the ques- 
tion that the Great King and his lieutenants should ever 
trust a state in which the multitude was supreme. 

Phrynichus was the most intelligent among 

Phrynichus. * . b & 

the Attic commanders. He was a man of 
low birth (he is said to have in his boyhood tended cattle), 
who had worked his way up by intrigues, obtaining money 
and influence as a sycophant, and had then proved his 
great natural gifts as a popular orator and general. Phry- 
nichus saw through the untrustworthy character of Alci- 
biades' proposals. He represented to his colleagues, how 

Chap, v.] Tlie Decelean War. 451 

inconceivable it was that Alcibiades, who well knew the 
real authors of his fall, could ever be a sincere friend of 
the oligarchs. He declared it to be equally impossible, 
that the Persians would ever ally themselves with Athena 
as long as the Peloponnesians remained in power in Ionia; 
the latter were manifestly the allies most welcome and 
most convenient to Tissaphernes, who could not take any 
step more irrational than that of suddenly deserting them, 
and converting them into his enemies ; while a permanent 
understanding could never be arrived at between Persia 
and Athens. Finally, it was very erroneous to repose any 
confidence in the oligarchical parties in the confederate 
states. A change in the political system at Athens would 
neither bring back those who had revolted against her, nor 
confirm the loyalty of those who had remained true. They 
were interested, not in the constitution at Athens, but in 
the achievement of their own independence. 

These representations met with no acceptance. The 
oligarchs were blinded by passion and ambition ; they fan- 
cied, that they had at last found an incomparable oppor- 
tunity of recommending the overthrow of the constitution, 
upon grounds which would be acceptable even to the 
multitude ; and they were resolved not to allow this op- 
portunity to pass by unused. Accordingly, the secret 
intrigues with Alcibiades were energetically continued. A 
compact central body of conspirators collected, and occa- 
sionally men even ventured to make open mention of cer- 
tain necessary reforms ; and, although the army displayed 
an unmistakable aversion from such ideas, yet the prospect 
of Persian pay was sufficiently tempting to prevent any 
decided opposition. The next step was therefore confi- 
dently taken ; and Pisander (p. 351), who now came out 
in his true party-colors, was, together with a few compa- 
nions, sent from the camp to Athens, in order there to 
accomplish the work begun at Samos. 

452 History of Greece. t B <>° K IV. 

At Athens, extreme excitement was the 

ri^s S a? < Ath<fns ^ rst conse( l uence of the plans of the con- 
from the camp, spirators becoming known. Some declaimed 
c.kii?) 11 Winter! against the violation of the constitution, 

others against the return of Alcibiades ; and 
on this head the popular orators agreed with the members 
of the priestly families, of whose hatred the violator of 
the Mysteries was the most prominent object. But 
opinions were divided, since three different proposals and 
prospects were in question, which had been cleverly mixed 
up with one another. After all, the first ebullition of wrath 
against Alcibiades had long ago cooled down, and the in- 
dignation against that traitor had been softened by the 
consciousness, that blame attached to his fellow-citizens as 
well as to himself; the brilliant achievements which ac- 
companied his course, whithersoever he directed it, 
heightened the public admiration of this extraordinary 
man, and even flattered Attic vanity. In the multitude, 
the ancient fondness towards their favorite awoke once 
more, and simultaneously, a longing for his presence ; and 
men even ventured to express their opinion, that Alci- 
biades was alone capable of bringing victory back to 
Athens, and that this end would well repay a few sacri- 
fices. The adherents of the oligarchical party befriended 
themselves with the idea of seeing Alcibiades return, pro- 
vided that an end was put to the democracy. But the 
most universal popularity attached to the prospect of new 
pecuniary resources, especially as it brought with it a hope 
— however distant — of the ultimate conclusion of peace. 
Shortly before the arrival of Pisander the I/ysistrata of 

Aristophanes had be enacted at the Lensea. 
Lysistrata. cm! Of" this play, also, the theme is the uni ver- 
min V ^' °" sa ^ desired peace (p. 194) ; and, as the 

men are apparently after all unable to bring 
it about, the women resolve to take the management of 
public affairs into their hands, in order to put an end to 

Chip. V.] The Decelean War. 453 

the present state of things, which makes it impossible for 
any one to enjoy the blessings of life, which forces wives 
to live the life of widows and girls to pine away in per- 
petual maidenhood. The Athenian ladies are, in their 
own opinion at least, as well able to manage the state as 
their husbands. In this age of conspiracies they have 
gained experience as well as the men. All the women of 
Hellas unite in a general association, occupy the citadel, 
defy the ProbuU, who are responsible for the welfare of the 
city, and contrive to devise the most effectual means for 
obliging the men to give in to them. Thus the farcical 
extravagance of the poet enables his fellow-citizens to for- 
get the troubles of the present ; but, at the same time, the 
whole piece betrays the troubled state of public feeling, 
the want of confidence, the insecurity of public affairs — 
which permit no outspoken satire. Invectives are indeed 
not spared against such men as Pisander, who for their 
private advantage create disturbances; and against the 
uncalled-for quackery exercised upon the sick state by 
political dilettanti; but the poet himself is incapable of 
giving counsel or encouragement to his fellow-citizens. 
Accordingly, the Lysistrata lacks the Parabasis (vol. ii. p. 
538), in which on other occasions the poet is in the habit 
of vigorously expressing the remedies which he deems 
salutary. In the streets and in the market-place, he says, 
the universal complaint is heard, that in all Attica there 
exists not one man — not one who is able to save the com- 

Pisander was therefore not discouraged by the first op- 
position provoked by his schemes. He held 
separate conferences with the leading citizens p . Efforts of 
in larger or smaller groups, and endeavored 
to gain them over to his plans. He explained how in the 
first instance nothing was desired beyond a measure de- 

* As to the date of the Lysistrata, see Jaep, Quo anno, &c. Lys. atqu* 
Thesm. dont. sint. (Eutin, 1859.) 

454 History of Greece. [ BooK Iv - 

manded by the existing state of things, beyond a tem- 
porary limitation of popular rights, such as had indeed 
been already introduced ; it was not intended permanently 
to contravene the previous course of the history of Athens, 
or to abolish her constitution. By these representations, 
the apprehensions of those who loyally adhered to the 
constitution were calmed. The members of the clubs 
were gained over, by being assured, that it would of course 
be possible to get rid of the hated presence of Alcibiades 
for a second time, as soon as he had performed the service 
expected from him. But the main strength of Pisander 
lay in his being able to propose to all his hearers this 
question : " Are you aware of any other means of helping 
Athens out of her troubles ? How are we, without extra- 
ordinary means, to prosecute to an end this war against 
Sparta, who is well supplied with money and ships, and 
has established her head-quarters simultaneously in Ionia 
and in our own country ? The present question is not one 
of principles, as to which it is impossible to arrive at a 
general agreement ; but it concerns the preservation of the 

Thus by degrees an increased number of citizens con- 
sented to admit the necessity of a change in the constitu- 
tion : some honestly believing that no other means could 
be devised, the rest because a prospect was opened to them 
of themselves participating in the advantages of the inno- 
vation. The political associations were once more in full 
activity, and worked on a common plan ; while the rest 
of the multitude were awed into silence, and lacked an 
organization enabling them to offer resistance. Lastly the 
plot was most materially advanced by the Probuli, whose 
office had by this time already existed for more than a 
year, and had more and more reduced to impotence the 
constitutional organs of the state. They would have been 
able to nip all the schemes of the conspirators in the bud, 
had not the opinions of the latter been shared by the ma- 

Chap, v.] TJie Decelean War. 455 

jority among these officials themselves. Under the au- 
thority of the Probuli the decree was passed, empowering 
Pisander and his companions to open the negotiations with 
Tissaphernes and Alcibiades, from which an immediate 
favorable change in the situation of the city was expected. 
It was at the same time ordered that Phrynichus, and with 
him Scironides, were to resign their office as generals : a 
measure which seemed to be imperatively demanded by 
the events which had meanwhile occurred in the fleet. 

Phrynichus had been filled with the deep- Phrynichus 
est anxiety by the successful progress of the and Ast y° cbus - 
oligarchical intrigues, which he had opposed to the best 
of his power — an anxiety not so much on behalf of his 
native city as of his own person. In all his proceedings 
he had been actuated by hatred of Alcibiades ; he was 
aware that the latter knew him to be his enemy ; and lie 
was tortured by the idea of having to succumb to him. 
Phrynichus accordingly anxiously sought for an opportu- 
nity of damaging Alcibiades; he looked round for enemies 
of the latter, whom he might secure as trustworthy allies ; 
and since the deepest anger against Alcibiades might be 
presumed to exist at present in the Spartan camp, the 
Attic general unhesitatingly entered into a secret Under- 
standing with the admiral of the hostile fleets. But on 
this head Phrynichus, who was generally so capable of 
forming a clear judgment as to men and affairs, deceived 
himself. The admiral of Sparta was in the pay of Tissa- 
phernes. Accordingly, no sooner had Phrynichus com- 
municated to Astyochus all the negotiations which had 
been carried on between Alcibiades and the Athenians, 
than this information immediately found its way to the 
Persian head-quarters, and to the ears of Alcibiades him- 
self. The latter took advantage of this opportunity to 
display himself in his character of the friend of the Athe- 
nians, by warning them against their traitorous general, 
and demanding his execution. Instead of revenging him- 

456 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

self upon his enemy, Phrynichus had placed the strongest 
weapon against himself in that enemy's hands. And yet 
he would not allow himself to be induced to relinquish the 
road upon which he had once entered : he thought Astyo- 
chus merely incautious, -and communicated that opinion 
to him in a second letter, in which he offered to deliver 
the whole army at Samos into the hands of the enemy, if 
the latter would execute a surprise proposed by him. Not 
until Phrynichus had despatched this letter, were his eyes 
opened : and he now endeavored to save himself by taking 
the most careful measures against the surprise, which he 
had himself recommended Astyochus to attempt. When, 
accordingly this new act of treason was, by the same chan- 
nel as the former, made known to the Athenians, they 
refused to credit it, and regarded Alcibiades as a calum- 
niator, whose sole purpose it was to ruin Phrynichus ; so 
that the latter, beyond a doubt the ablest of the comman- 
ders on Samos, now enjoyed greater authority in the camp 
than at any previous period. But at the present moment, 
when success entirely depended upon the 
dismisses the good-will of Alcibiades, it was no longer 
command. allowable to leave Phrynichus in office. 

His dismissal was the first actual manifestation of the 
power which Alcibiades had recovered at Athens.* 

When hereupon the negotiations were 
Lichas and p ene( j a £ ^q cour t of Tissaphernes at 

Tissapnernes at r x 

Cnidus. 01. xcii. Magnesia, changes of considerable impor- 
(bx.4 .) anu- tance h a( j occurre( j j n the situation of 

affairs in Asia Minor. In Sparta, extreme 
discontent had been provoked at the course of the war ; 
men were ashamed of the treaties, and angry with Astyo- 
chus as well as with the untrustworthy satrap ; and it was 
resolved, notwithstanding the unfavorable season of the 
year, immediately to despatch twenty-seven ships under 
Antisthenes, who was to be accompanied by eleven com- 

* Thuc. viii. 54. 

Chap. vj Tiic Decelcan War. 457 

missioners charged with an inquiry into the state of affairs 
of Asia Minor, and with the choice of measures necessary 
for the honor of the city. The fleet and commissioners 
were despatched towards the end of December. The 
leading member of the commission was Lichas (the son 
of Arcesilaus), a wealthy and proud Spartiate, who had, 
notwithstanding the exclusion of Sparta from the Olympic 
festival, ventured to make his appearance there with a 
victorious chariot (01. xc. B.C. 420). He had been in 
consequence punished by the authorities at Elis with 
blows from a whip, probably at the instigation of Alci- 
biades, of whom he was a bitter adversary.* In the 
beginning of the year B.C. 411, Astyochus had joined the 
fleet of Antisthenes off Cnidus ; where Tissaphernes also 
appeared, in order to settle matters with the Spartans. 
He soon discovered, that a totally different spirit pre- 
vailed in their camp. For, instead of their allowing 
themselves once more to be deluded by his promises, 
Lichas roundly declared to him, that Sparta had no inten- 
tion of allowing herself to be befooled by him. Lichas 
further demanded a revision of the treaties, stating that 
Sparta was not making war in order to place the Hellenes 
once more under the dominion of the Persians. If the 
satrap would not consent to new conditions, the Spartans 
must endeavor to manage matters without him. Tissa- 
phernes broke off the conferences, and returned to Magne- 

Thus the situation of affairs appeared to be highly in 
favor of the Athenians. Their envoys immediately made 
their appearance at Magnesia, and opened their commis- 
sion by stating that they, for their part, had already ful- 
filled the preliminary condition of an understanding with 
Persia, inasmuch as by their exertions popular govern- 
ment had been as good as abolished at Athens, and that 

* Thuc. viii. 39, 52. 

458 History of Greece. C BooK IV - 

they now expected to be paid the price held out to them 
as a return for their labors. The crafty Persian, how- 
ever, by no means iutended at once to enter into an alli- 
ance with the Athenians. The defiant courage of Lichas, 
and the powerful fleet that accompanied him, had not 
failed of their effect. After Astyochus had, on the 
passage to Cnidus, defeated the Attic commander Charmi- 
nus, and after the treason of the oligarchs in Rhodes had 
placed that island in the hands of the Spartans, the latter 
had unquestionably become the superior force on the 
Asiatic coast ; they had constituted Rhodes their head- 
quarters instead of Miletus, in order to be further 
removed from, and less dependent upon, the satrap. They 
were too strong, for him to be able to rid himself of them 
as he liked ; and he foresaw, that the refusal of money 
payments would in the first instance produce only this 
result, that the troops would compensate themselves by 
plundering his coasts. But he was still more deeply 
annoyed by the fear, that the Spartans might hereupon 
attach themselves to Pharnabazus, who was longing to 
receive them. Although, then, he was glad enough to 
terrify the Spartans, and to render them more pliable by 
his negotiations with Athens, yet it was distinctly against 
his interests to convert them into enemies by any prema- 
ture resolution, and to conclude a treaty with Athens 
promising subsidies to her. On this head he remained 
inflexible against the representations of Alcibiades, and 
acted precisely as Phrynichus had rightly foreseen he 
would act. Alcibiades pretended to an influence w r hich 
in reality he by no means exercised ; the satrap looked 
upon him as the most agreeable of sociable companions, 
and as in all Greek affairs a most welcome adviser, agent, 
and negotiator — in short, as a man such as Tissaphernes 
had always desiderated in the political position which 
belonged to him. But he was far from unconditionally 
following the directions of this counsellor, whom he only 

Chap, v.] Tfie Decelean War. 459 

allowed to direct him to this extent, that he took care not 
to give too vigorous and sincere a support to the Pelopon- 
nesians ; but the correct instinct of the satrap prevented 
him from actually changing his political course. 

Under these circumstances,Alcibiades would accordingly 
have found himself in a most perplexing situation, had 
the party whose representatives conducted the negotiations 
been his own party, and had he rested his hopes of return 
upon them. But to allow a Pisandcr and 
his associates to enjoy the triumph of a The conferences 

p , ,. ,. , , „ » at Magnesia. 01. 

successtul negotiation, had assuredly trom xc ,i. i. ( B . c . 
the first been far from Alcibiades' inten- *\\:} J eb yW' 

Attitude of Alci- 

tion. He accordingly accommodated his biades. 
game to the circumstances of the case, above 
all providing for his own personal security. For his 
principal object was, to allow no doubts to arise in any quar- 
ter as to his influence in the Persian camp ; his reputaion 
must not be allowed to suffer ; and if, therefore the negoti- 
ations came to an end, all the blame ought to fall upon 
those who had conducted them. He accordingly caused 
himself to be commissioned by Tissaphernes to carry on the 
business of the negotiations in the presence of the satrap ; by 
which means he, in the first place, procured himself the 
satisfaction of seeing the hated oligarchs forced to humble 
themselves before him and to pay their court to him. The 
conferences were opened, and Pisander,who was prepared to 
make large concessions, immediately in the name of Athens 
renounced all claims to any part of Ionia, for the sake of 
which the state had exerted its last forces. Hereupon, Alci- 
biades made a further demand for the Persians of the islands 
fronting the coast, i. e , Lesbos, Samos, and Chios ; and 
this demand also was acceded to. And now the third 
demand was made. The Great King was to be granted 
the right of free navigation for his ships of war in every 
part of the iEgean, and along all its coasts. This de- 
mand affected the honor of Athens in its most sensitive 

460 History of Greece. t BoOK IV - 

point : for, in acceding to it, she would have renounced, 
not only her transmarine possessions, but also the secure 
dominion over her own sea. Had they agreed to such 
concessions, which would with one stroke put an end to the 
entire previous history of Athens, the envoys could not 
have confronted their fellow-citizens, to whom they had 
promised to open up a new era of good fortune. They 
perceived, how true aD opinion Phrynichus had formed of 
the double-tongued Alcibiades, and, enraged at the way 
in which they had been befooled, returned to Samos.* 

Their situation was a most painful one; 
to Athens by they were unable to bring home any of the 

Ba C moi gareh8 at reSults > for the Sake ° f Which the y had 

claimed so heavy sacrifices from the people 
and pledged their own honor. But it was no longer pos- 
sible to recede from the position once assumed. The 
oligarchical party-intrigues had already proceeded too far 
in the army, and the Samian oligarchs, who had been 
admitted to the confidence of the conspirators, demanded 
that the latter should adhere to their original intentions. 
It was accordingly determined, in the camp, to give up all 
further thoughts of Alcibiades, for whom it would after all 
be impossible to find a suitable place in the state, as re- 
constituted, according to present intentions. The cause 
which had formerly been merely a means to an end, was 
now made the sole end itself, and was urged on with the 
utmost zeal. The members of the party paid voluntary 
contributions ; they despatched Pisander to Athens, where 
he was to mature the outbreak of the conspiracy ; and 
they simultaneously sent other envoys to the allied cities, 
— e.<7.,Diitrephes to the Thracian coast, — with the view of 
everywhere overthrowing democratic government. The 
power which acted thus was essentially a revolutionary 
power, which ruthlessly intended entirely to reconstitute 

* Thuc. viii. 56. 

Chap, v.] TJie Decelean War. 401 

Athens and all parts of the Attic dominion. The blind 
mode in which they set to work, is shown in the case of 
Thasos. For, when Diitrephes arrived there, in order to 
overthrow the constitution, the aristocrats in the state 
gratefully accepted his services ; but as soon as he had 
taken his departure, they hastened to build walls, and, 
with the aid of Sparta, to destroy all connection between 
Thasos and Athens. 

Their proceedings in the capital were of a more success- 
ful nature. Here, much had been done, since the depar- 
ture of Pisander, for furthering the plans of the oligarchs. 
All the different clubs of this party had 
united and formed one association, a mighty 
combination, acting according to a common agreement. 
The soul of these efforts was Antiphon, the son of Sophilus 
(vol. ii. p. 569), at that time already an advanced sexagena- 
rian, but full of unwearying activity, political experience, 
and knowledge of human nature ; inexhaustible in clever 
devices, trustworthy and reticent ; in intellectual power 
and influence as a speaker superior to all his fellow-citizens, 
and at the same time perfect master of himself, and, al- 
though not entirely unselfish and especially not free from 
love of money, yet devoid of the ambitious desire of push- 
ing himself forward into the first places in 
the state. A second leader was Theramenes 
(the son of Hagnon the Probulus) : a man of brilliant 
abilities, eloquent, intelligent, and versatile, endowed with 
noble natural gifts, but lacking inner fixity of purpose, a 
genuine pupil of the sophists, one of the best scholars of 
Gorgias and Prodicus, and, by his talents as well as by his 
influential connections, one of the most important supports 
of the oligarchical party. Furthermore, Phrynichus had 
by this time been entirely gained over to the side of that 
party, since it had been determined to break off all com- 
munications with Alcibiades. For, although the whole 
undertaking could not but appear dangerous to so saga- 

462 History of Greece. [Book IV, 

cious a man, yet no choice was now left him ; and it be- 
. ■ . A . hooved him, with all the resources of his 

Archeptolemus. _ 

daring and crafty intellect, to support the 
party which worked against his enemy. A friend of Anti- 
phon and Theramenes was Archeptolemus (the son of 
Hippodamus), who had many years ago opposed Cleon, 
when the question of war or peace was discussed after the 
events at Pylus, and who was now a party leader round 
. whom gathered the enemies of the dema- 


gogues and the democracy. Among those 
who joined the party in conformity with earlier family tra- 
ditions was Melesias, the son of Thucydides (vol. ii. p. 457). 
By far the larger number of the members of the party 

belonged to the sophistical ly-trained younger 
oHgarohs! ° f ^ g enerati ° n > who despised the laws of the state 

and the common people ; who on all kinds 
of personal grounds desired innovations, and who greedily 
imbibed the political teaching communicated to them at 
the meetings of the party by Antiphon, the Nestor of his 
party, as it was the fashion to call him. The prevailing 
state of public feeling and the experiences of the last 
years helped to gain over many of the well-to-do citizens, 
who had previously abstained from taking any decided 
Hue in party politics. Many points of view of indubitable 
correctness were urged, and the deeply-felt defects of the 
present state of things were made full use of, for conceal- 
ing the selfish motives of party. It was now regarded as 
an indisputable fact, that democracy was the most iniquitous 
and worst form of constitutional government. The people 
itself, it was said, evidently recognized its incapacity for 
government, since it had never demanded the introduction 
of election by lot in the case of the most important public 
offices ; accordingly, it would also be better for the people, 
if the entire government fell into the hands of those upon 
whom it had hitherto been the custom to throw nothing 
but the burdens of the commonwealth, — if the different 

Chap. V.] The Decelean War. 463 

classes were again separated, and their due rights restored 
to the upper classes, who had been degraded into servants 
of the multitude. The oligarchs made the most of the 
ambiguity of the Greek language, which, in accordance 
with an ancient tradition, still designated the men of birth, 
education and refinement, as " the good and true." They 
were now able to appeal to the fact, that a beginning had 
already been made for returning to a rational order of 
affairs from the nonsense of mob-rule ; and that this be- 
ginning had proved of use. Only let it not be held to 
suffice. The democracy was far too costly a thing, to 
admit of being carried on after the revolt of the allies; 
in the present period of financial dearth it was simply im- 
possible to collect the pay for the Council, the courts of 
justice, and the public assemblies. It was therefore in- 
tended to make the public offices what they had been in 
the good old times, viz., honorary ; the Council must be 
selected from among men of property and education, and 
be invested with greater powers, in order to be able to 
guide the state according to fixed principles, and towards 
definite objects. Only thus could a termination of the 
war be brought about, while in any other case that war 
would infallibly end in the ruin of Athens. But it did 
not follow, that on this account popular rights should be 
abolished ; a civic body was to continue to exist, but not 
after the same fashion as hitherto — when the poorest and 
least educated classes were wont, for the sake of a daily 
wages of three obols, to throng the assembly and to dis- 
gust all decent persons against attending it ; but in this 
case also a selection must be made ; a body of Five Thou- 
sand or thereabouts, who needed to claim no compensation 
for occupying themselves with public business, must rep- 
resent the sovereign rights of the Athenian people. Thus, 
better times might be confidently expected to arrive for the 

* The programme of action of the oligarchs is to be learnt from th« 

464 History of Greece. [Cook IV. 

These were the theories which were now zealously spread. 

and which, owing to the talents and sophistic 

Preparations ar tifices of their advocates, met with unde- 

for the coup . 

d'etat. niable success, lhe conspirators advanced 

in their proceedings step by step, in order 
secretly to prepare the decisive coup d'etat; they passed 
from permitted means to unpermitted, from persuasion to 
force ; for it was one of their sophistic principles that it 
was unnecessary to be over-conscieutious in the pursuit of 
a good end. They had a common fund for their purposes, 
and held venal men in readiness to act as their instru- 
ments, as well as armed followers, hired abroad and fully 
prepared for any kind of service. These hirelings they 
employed for the purpose of depriving the democratic 
party of its leaders. Thus Androcles (p. 354) was got 
rid of by assassination ; and after him other victims fell. 
No inquiry was ventured as to the authors of these crimes. 
Those who were not members of the secret clubs, were 
awed into silence ; and the power of these clubs seemed 
doubly great, because it worked in the dark : liberty of 
speech was suppressed, and the action of the legitimate 
organs of the state were crippled ; the Probuli were either 
in the plot, or were aged and infirm persons ; the Council 
was accustomed to be the mere shadow of an authority ; 
and the civic body lacked both leaders and union. Ex- 
ternally, the forms of the constitution still continued in 
existence ; but the actual government was in the hands of 
the conspirators, who declared their intentions with in- 
creasing openness ; till at last the Athenians, full of fear 
and utterly dispirited, consented to regard the alteration 
of the constitution as inevitable. The state of mind pre- 

Pseudo-Xenophontio work on the Athenian state, ascribed by Boeckh to 
Critias. As to Antiphon's love of money, see the passage of Plato's Pisand. 
(Cobet, p. 128). It is a matter of dispute, whether Archeptolemus was 
the son of the architect Hippodamus (vol. ii. p. 472), as is assumed by 
the Schol. ad. Ar. Eq. 327; cf. C. Fr, Hermann, dt Hipp. Mil, p. 6. 

Chap, v.] The Decelean War. 465 

vailing among the citizens may be measured by the comedy 
of the Thesmojihoriazusce (produced by Aristo- 
phanes three months after the Lysistrata), a Theamophoria- 
play in which the poet avoids all political zusae - 01 - xcii - 

1 J . 1. (b. c. 411.) 

questions of the day, having selected a safe March, 
subject, viz., ridicule of Euripides and the 
Attic women ; only here and there we perceive a sly 
allusion to the enemies of the ancestral statutes of the 
Athenians, to the cowardice of the Council, and to the 
imminent advent of Tyrannical government. 

Pisander found the ground thus prepared at Athens. 
He had no intention of rendering a veracious account of 
the unsuccessful issue of his embassy ; but rather assumed 
the pretence of having arranged everything satisfactorily 
with the Great King, so that now every- 
thing depended upon rapidly taking the ne- d'6tat. oi. xcii. 
cessary steps at Athens. He accordingly at *: (*•£' 411 )- 
once brought before the citizens a motion 
proposing the appointment of a Commission, which was 
with all possible speed to lay before the people a draft of 
a reformed constitution. This Commission was composed, 
in addition to the Probuli, of twenty assessors elected by 
the citizens under the influence of the conspirators, and 
invested with absolute powers. Such powers were needed, 
in order to remove the main obstacle in the way of all 
constitutional changes, the palladium of civil liberty — viz., 
the public indictment for illegal motions. Accordingly, 
the use of that indictment was prohibited by virtue of a 
decree of the Constitution Commission ; it was made per- 
missible for any citizen, without exposing himself to danger, 
to propose what he held to be advantageous for the com- 
mon weal; and, the way thus having been opened for 
Pisander and his associates, the proceedings of the Com- 
mission in all essentials terminated. The decisive step was 
not taken on the Pnyx (for a feeling of awe prevented the 


466 History of Greece. [ B ™ K IV. 

perpetration of the act by which the constitution was vio- 
lated upon an anciently consecrated spot), but outside the 
city, a mile from the Dipylum, on the hill of Colonus, 
where the citizens were assembled near the Sanctuary of 
Posidon c 'I-7zto$. Here, on account of the proximity of 
the enemy's army, an enclosed space was necessary ; and 
this enclosure, again, could be used for the purpose of pre- 
venting too large an accumulation of numbers, and the 
occurrence of disturbances. In this assembly, then, the 
motions of Pisander w T ere brought forward, according as 
they had been agreed upon in the meetings of the party. 
These resolutions were expressed in a short and terse form 
their sole object being to transfer the power into the hands 
.rf the conspirators. The main points were the following : 
kvvery species of official salary or daily pay, with the ex- 
ception of a compensation for service in the field, was to be 
forever abolished ; and a new council of Four Hundred 
members to be instituted, which was to go- 
The Council y ern the state according to the best of its 

of the Four . _ , . ° . , _ . _ 

Hundred. judgment, and, as often as it deemed right, 

convoke a civic assembly of Five Thousand. 
At the same time the mode of election for the members of 
the Council was fixed: a body of five was to be appointed, 
who were conjointly to elect one hundred councillors. 
Each of these hundred was hereupon to elect three others 
as his colleagues. The people assented to every proposi- 
tion, and, without making any sign of disturbance, re- 
turned home from Colonus, after burying there their rights 
and liberties.* The assembly had probably been extremely 
small ; for, besides all those serving on the fleet, the armed 
citizens who acted as a city guard were absent. Nothing 
now remained to be done, but to dissolve the old Council. 
After, therefore, the election of the Four Hundred had 
been completed, they repaired to the Council-house, armed 

* Thuc. viii. 67. 

Chap. V.] The Decelean War. 467 

with daggers and surrounded by their body-guard (the 
mercenaries mentioned above). But no application of force 
was necessary ; the members of the old Council unresist- 
ingly received their pay and took their departure. The 
new Council took possession of their seats, chose its chair- 
man, performed its inauguratory sacrifices: and thus the 
coup d'etat had been perfectly successful, without any out- 
ward violence having been done to the laws.* 

The Four Hundred, without delay, hastened vigorously 
to pursue their ends in both foreign and domestic affairs. 
All who were suspected of not favoring the new order of 
things, were removed from the public offices ; the popular 
courts of justice were abolished ; individual citizens who 
appeared dangerous were executed ; others were imprisoned 
or banished. A recall of the exiles was proposed, but not 
carried into effect, because it was not ventured either to 
include Alcibiades in the amnesty or to exclude him from 
it by name ; for no open declaration had been made with 
reference either to him, or to the Persian subsidies. On 
the other hand, envoys were sent to Decelea, to inform 
King Agis of the changes which had taken place at 
Athens, and to express the hope : that the Lacedaemonians 
would place more confidence in Athens under her present 
constitution, and be more ready to enter into negotiations 
with her. But the ambitious king endeavored to turn to a 
different account the events which had happened at Athens. 
He believed that the city was in a state of utter con- 
fusion, and therefore, after collecting as many troops as 
possible, attempted an assault upon the gates. After, how- 
ever, this attempt had failed, he gave a friendly reception 
to a second embassy from Athens, and encouraged the 

* See the allusions in Ar. Thesm. 361, 80S, 1143. Thirty was the num- 
ber of crvyy pa^ets, according to Pb.ilocb.orus ap. Harpocr. <rvyyp. and Thuc. 
viii. 67, according to C. Fr. Hermann's emendation (A for a). As to the 
entire revolution, Wattenbach, de Quad ring. Aiken, fact. 

468 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

Athenians immediately to despatch deputies to Sparta, to 
conclude peace in the name of the Four Hundred.* 

But the most anxious care of the new Council was di- 
rected towards the fleet ; for upon the latter was assembled 
that part of the civic body, amongst whom the greatest 
amount of attachment to the constitution must be pre- 
sumed to have prevailed. Therefore, immediately after the 
establishment of the new Council, ten trustworthy persons 
had been sent to tranquillize the army, and to remove all 
opposition on its part by means of calming representations. 
The entire reform, they averred, had for its sole object to 
release the state from its present difficulties : that this re- 
form was not conceived in an anti-popular spirit, was 
proved by the mere fact of the number of the Five Thou- 
sand citizens, who by the side of the Council formed the 
civic assembly, and were the real representatives of the 
sovereignty of the state. Even in former times the as- 
semblies had rarely exceeded that number of citizens. But 
before the ten deputies could fulfil their commission, the 
Paralus (the official vessel) entered the harbor, bringing 
news from Samos which far outstripped even the worst 
apprehensions of the Four Hundred. 

They were indeed prepared to hear of 

Counter-move- .. .. i • t/y»i.» i • 

ment in Samos. agitations and various difficulties being 
?}', ? e l 1 ' •; ^ BC * about to oppose themselves to them in the 

411.) April. c \ 

army ; but instead of this, they heard that 
their plans had suffered utter shipwreck at Samos. They 
had deceived themselves most grievously of all in Leon 
and Diomedon, whom, by investing them with the office 
of generals, they had hoped to attach to their interests. 
For these men, although entertaining aristocratic views, 
were yet loyal adherents of the constitution, and patriotic 
Athenians. They had accordingly combined with the 
trierarch Thrasybulus, with Thrasylus, an Athenian of 

* Thuc. viii. 70 f. 

Chap. V.] flie Decelean War. 469 

rank who was then serving as a private soldier, and with 
other lovers of liberty, to frustrate the conspiracy which 
Pisander had plotted at Samos before his second depar- 
ture ; they had furnished the most vigorous assistance to 
the Samians, whom, it had been designed, with the aid of 
the Attic generals, to be brought under an aristocratic 
government, against the oligarchs of the island ; the con- 
spirators had been overthrown, and the Paralus was now 
to bring the news of this victory to Athens, in order to 
confirm the citizens there in their sentiments of loyalty 
towards the constitution. 

The Four Hundred were terrified to find from the 
report of the crew of the Paralus (who had themselves 
taken a prominent part in the suppression of the con- 
spiracy), what kind of spirit animated the army. Scenes 
of violence ensued : some of the crew were thrown into 
prison, the rest were removed from the vessel, and, before 
they had entered the city, transferred to another ship, 
under orders for Eubcea. In the meantime there was 
nothing further to be done, but to keep the news of the 
events at Samos concealed as long as possible, and, 
similarly, to withhold from the army all information as to 
what was taking place at Athens. 

But even in this attempt the new despotic 
government failed. For the commander refuses to sub- 
of the Paralus. Chsereas, contrived to elude mit t0 the ? ow 


them. He made his way to Samos; and, 
although he had himself had no opportunity of becoming 
acquainted with the state of affairs at Athens and with 
the designs of the oligarchs, yet he gave an elaborate and 
partially exaggerated description of the reign of terror at 
Athens. No man's life, he stated, was any longer safe 
there, and no woman's honor. Those in power shrank 
from no deed of violence, and, he added, intended to 
bring into their power the families of the men serving on 
the fleet, in order, by detaining the former as hostages, to 

470 History of Greece. t B °o K IV. 

reduce the latter to submission.* The army was so 
enraged at this news, that they would have immediately 
torn to pieces those who were suspected of oligarchical 
sentiments, had not Thrasybulus and Thrasylus interfered, 
demonstrating the necessity of maintaining peace and 
concord, as against the enemy who was so near at hand. 
In consequence, the whole army bound itself by a solemn 
oath to hold fast to the constitution, courageously to carry 
on the war against Sparta, and to regard the Four Hun- 
dred as enemies of the state. The Samians acceded to 
this solemn union, so that there now existed a double 
Athens. The army had good reason for considering itself 
to be the true Athens ; the heart of the people lay in its 
warriors ; and they declared that it was not they who had 
fallen away from Athens, but Athens which had fallen 
away from them ; inasmuch as it was not walls and houses 
which constituted the city, but those of her citizens who 
thought and acted as Athenians f 

The army accordingly organized itself as 

and organizes . , , _ . . . 

itself as an in- an independent state. It held meetings as 
dependent a legislative assembly ; it claimed for itself 

the revenues from the allies ; it proceeded to 
fresh elections, in order to remove all suspicious persons 
from the posts of general, and to transfer the command 
to proved men of its own choice. Thus Thrasybulus and 
Thrasylus were elected generals ; and, in the face of the 
double enemy now opposed to the army, there prevailed 
in the latter a fuller concord and a more ardent spirit 
than ever. Even without the help of the faithless city, 
her soldiers felt strong and sufficient in themselves ; and 
if they should not be able to return, they at all events 
had in their possession ships and arms, by which they 
might obtain for themselves a new city and country.^ 

* Thuc. viii. 74. f Ibid. viii. 36. 

X Thuc. viii. 72—77. 

Chap, v.] TJie Decelean War. 471 

It was, however, the duty of the generals 

, . , : it Thracybulus 

to taKe more provident views, and to dis- and Alcibiades. 
cover the means for achieving actual results. 
Thrasybulus was the first man in the camp. He, more 
than any one else, had organized the constitutional party 
as a coherent body, full of vigor and moral self-command. 
To him the highest glories seemed reserved : that of deli- 
vering his native city out of the bonds of a criminal party 
rule, and of restoring Athens to herself. But the obstacles 
in his way were of an extraordinary nature, and could not 
be overcome by the mere joyous ardor of the army. The 
Ionian sea must not be given up for the purpose of com- 
mencing a civil war at Athens ; while on the other hand 
it was impossible to measure the consequences of allowing 
the Four Hundred to retain power for any length of time. 
The army w r as surrounded by enemies, without being able 
boldly to attack any one of them ; the fleet was city and 
country to the soldiers, but that fleet was no longer the 
mistress of the sea, being equalled in numbers by the Pelo- 
ponnesians together with their new allies from Italy and 
Sicily, while at any moment the Phoenician fleet might 
come forth out of its ambush ; and if it were to unite with 
the Peloponnesians, the two armaments together would 
be absolutely supreme on the sea. The spirit which ani- 
mated the Attic sailors in the days of Cimon, when the 
only question asked was the whereabouts of the enemy, 
before he was, in joyous confidence of victory, sought out 
in any harbor — this spirit had passed away; nor was 
Thrasybulus a hero full of such confidence of victory and 
able to implant it in others. But he was possessed by a 
noble and pure patriotism, which it is doubly cheering to 
observe in this age of treacherous intrigues. Because he 
perceived that the present situation demanded extraordi- 
nary means and powers, he manifested so much self-denial, 
as to seek for another to occupy his position; and this 
other he found in Alcibiades. Doubtless he was well ac 

472 History of Greece. t BoOK 1V - 

quainted with all the weak points in the character of ths 
latter, which could not but be especially repugnant to so lofty 
a spirit as that of Thrasybulus. But he was also able to 
appreciate Alcibiades' extraordinary natural gifts, and 
Avas aware that nothing would more terrify the Four 
Hundred than the return of Alcibiades to the army. 
There was no question of any combination between Alci- 
biades and the Four Hundred. If the former were to 
constitute it his sole ambition to revenge the wrongs of 
his native city upon her foes at home and abroad, who 
were his private foes as well, a radical change might ensue 
in the state of affairs, such as could not be brought about 
by any other means. And furthermore, the political con- 
juncture after all made Tissaphernes, though personally 
powerless and unwarlike, master of the situation ; whoever 
therefore directed his action (and with such an influence 
Alcibiades was, although not with perfect justice, credited), 
whoever could persuade him to send out or keep back the 
fleet, and to make or refuse money-payments, 

Alcibiades re- r . . -. mi 

called by the was the most powerful man in Greece, lne 
arm 7- feeling of the army was indeed very strongly 

opposed to Alcibiades. They would have nothing to do 
with the man who had intrigued with the oligarchs, and 
from whom had come the original impulse to the conspira- 
cies against the commonwealth: but Thrasybulus con- 
tinually recurred to his proposals, until at last he was 
commissioned by the assembled army to recall the exile in 
the name of the people. 

This was the moment for which Alcibiades had waited. 
By playing a skillful game, he had gathered in his 
hands the threads of Attic politics. He had entered into 
communications with the oligarchs in order to delude 
them ; he had indirectly caused the breaking-up of the 
constitution, in order that the city, torn by her dissensions, 
might stand in need of himself, that he might return as 
the representative of a good and glorious cause, that he, 

Chap, v.] TJie Decelean War. 473 

upon whom the suspicion of Tyrannical designs had been 
so frequently cast, might make his appearance as the 
saviour of civil liberty, and destroy a Tyrannical party- 
government, the certainty of whose fall he clearly per- 
ceived. He unhesitatingly obeyed the summons of Thrasy- 
bulus, who now himself retired into a secondary position, 
in order to entrust the welfare of Athens to the hands of 

Thus, after an absence of four years, Alcibiades stood 
once more among his fellow-citizens ; nor 

i j i v , j j • His arrival at 

could he have returned under any circum- s amos . oi. xcii. 
stances more favorable to himself. For l > ( B - c - 411 «) 
here, at Samos, home reminiscences were 
not so strong as at home itself; his worst enemies, the 
oligarchs and the priests, were absent ; the assembled com- 
munity was unanimous, full of a lofty courage, and docile ; 
the minds of all were occupied with the present and its 
necessities ; and it was all the easier for those to arrive at 
a good understanding with Alcibiades, among whom he 
returned as an exile, when they were themselves deprived 
of their native city. Of these circumstances he took ad- 
vantage with extreme skill. He gained the hearts of the 
soldiers by bewailing his hard fate, which had kept him 
so long far from his native land ; he raised their courage 
by explaining to them what expectations, founded upon 
his experiences at Sparta and .in Persia, he thought him- 
self justified in forming as to the future of Athens. But, 
above all, he greatly exaggerated his influence with Tissa- 
phernes, whom, as he declared, he had entirely gained over 
to the side of Athens : so that the satrap was prepared, if 
the necessity arose, to convert even his domestic furniture 
and tapestry into money, in order to procure the means of 
payment for the Athenians, besides which he was holding 
the fleet in readiness to come to their aid, as soon as he 
should have obtained a guarantee justifying him in trusV 
ing them. 

474 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

The Athenians accepted all the proposals or hints 

of Alcibiades. They chose him as first 

Alcibiades the general, with absolute powers : with him 

preserver of ° * 

Athens. they thought they would be able to accom- 

plish all their desires ; and the first proof 
was to be given by the immediate overthrow of the Four 
Hundred. If Alcibiades had obeyed their passionate 
wish, he would indeed have had the best opportunity for 
taking vengeance upon his enemies. But it would have 
been extremely dangerous to relinquish the station at 
Samos, as since the beginning of April the Spartans again 
lay off Miletus. Moreover, he desired no return accom- 
panied, as this must have been, by the most calamitous 
events. The return which he had in view, was of a different 
kind ; and for this it was necessary to take preliminary mea- 
sures. He accordingly, in the first place, proved the superior 
force of his influence, by preventing the army from attempt- 
ing an attack upon Pirseeus. This was his first act as gen- 
eral, by which he expiated many previous deeds, — an act, on 
account of which even the severest judges have called him 
the preserver of Athens. He, who had never been taught 
to moderate the selfish impulses of his ambition, now con- 
quered himself, and in these times, when party-spirit over- 
came all other considerations, for the first time re-asserted 
the supreme claims of the public interest. In this sense 
he also treated the envoys of the Four Hundred (p. 468), 
who, after a considerable delay at Delos, had at last ven- 
tured to enter the camp. He protected them against the 
fury of the soldiers ; he allowed them to put forth, without 
let or hindrance, all the arguments which they had been 
ordered to use in palliation of the coup d'etat, and dis- 
missed them with the answer : that, under existing circum- 
stances, his opinion was entirely in favor of the intended 
retrenchment in the expenditure of the state ; that neither 
had he any objections to make against the reform of the 
civic body entitled to vote, connected with the above ; but 

Chap, v.] The Deeelean War. 475 

that the new council must resign immediately in favor of 
the constitutional Five Hundred. All this was calculated 
with extreme sagacity. Alcibiades appeared in the char- 
acter of an arbiter standing above the conflicting parties, 
as the man who alone was able to effect a general recon- 
ciliation. But at the same time he, by means of these 
proposals, caused a split in the party in power in Athens, 
thereby undermining this power itself. 

As to the affairs of Asia Minor, he here 
occupied a position completelv correspond- His relations 

1 , . f , , t r J „ r , . with Tissa- 

mg to his wishes and character ; tor nothing phernes. 

flattered his love of self more strongly 
than the chance of displaying his capacity of uniting 
opposite extremes in his own person, and being at the 
same time a liberating hero, a friend of the Persians, and 
the first personage both at the court of Tissaphernes and 
in the Attic camp. Towards his fellow-countrymen he 
boasted of the confidence reposed in him by the satrap ; 
towards the latter again he could now assume a far dif- 
ferent position as the commanding general of Athens, 
being now a man who could, according as he chose, serve 
or damage Tissaphernes. The relations between Persia 
and Sparta, again, had been very decisively affected by 
the mere fact of Alcibiades' arrival at Samos. For the 
Spartans had completely lost faith in Tissaphernes, since 
thev beheld his confidential adviser at the head of the 
Attic fleet, and found the same relations still continuing 
between the pair. The indignation of all men in the 
Peloponnesian camp who yet retained any feeling of 
honor, was raised against Tissaphernes, and against Astyo- 
chus, who was now openly accused of treason. King 
Agis had at all events made an attempt towards taking 
advantage of the dissensions at Athens in favor of Sparta ; 
but Astyochus had remained absolutely inactive with his 
fleet, now increased to 112 triremes, on the pretence of 
waiting for the Phoenicians ; or the trifling efforts actually 

476 History of Greece. [ BoOK IV 

attempted by him had resulted in utter failure. All dis- 
cipline was at an end ; the admiral was publicly vitu- 
perated ; and loudest of all was the wrath of the new con- 
federates, particularly of the Syracusans under Hermo- 
crates, who was filled with deep anger by the unworthy 
conduct of the Greeks. In the end, all consideration for 
Tissaphernes was entirely laid aside by the Peloponne- 
sians ; so that they remained quiet spectators while the 
Milesians stormed the citadel constructed in their city by 
Tissaphernes. The latter, indeed, subsequently repaired 
in person to the south coast, in order to summon the fleet 
of 147 sail anchoring off the coast of Pamphylia ; but he 
had no more intention of allowing it to effect a junction 
with the Peloponnesians, than his sub-governor had of 
supplying the Greeks with the provisions due to them by 
treaty. Under these circumstances, therefore, the Athe- 
nians were completely out of danger ; they began once 
more to look upon themselves as rulers of the sea, and 
Alcibiades contrived to have all the advantages which 
had been gained ascribed to his personal influence. 

Meanwhile the Samian Athens was more 

Athens in , ,, , , , 

Samos. 01. xeii. an d more generally recognized, even abroad, 
\ m B " c * m 11 ^ ^ ^ e rea ^ Athens. Envoys arrived from 
Argos and made voluntary offers of her 
assistance. Together with them came the crew of the 
Paralus, which the new Council had ordered to carry 
three of its members as ambassadors of peace to Sparta — 
an order of which the object manifestly was, to insult the 
democratic sentiments of the men of the Paralus. But 
this petty party intrigue ended very unfortunately for its 
authors. For on the voyage the crew seized upon the 
ambassadors, placed them in the custody of the Argives, 
and hereupon put back to Samos, where, after all their 
adventurous experiences, they were joyously hailed by 
their brethren-in-arms. All these matters contributed to 
raise the confidence of the troops, even before any actual 

Chap, v.] The Decelean War. 477 

achievement had taken place ; and the glory of this reac- 
tion towards success was entirely given to Alcibiades, 
whose statue the Samians erected before their temple of 
Here, in order to preserve a lasting remembrance of the 
well-omened day of his return. 

In Athens, events had in the meantime taken a totally 
different course from that expected by the 
oligarchs after their first successes. For opinion among 
scarcely had the Four Hundred occupied the Four Hun- 
the seats in the Council-house, when it be- 
came evident how ill the men suited one another who were 
to govern the state in a situation of such extreme difficulty, 
and who were now to establish a proof of the assertion, that 
an orderly and beneficent government was only possible 
where their principles were adopted. The oligarchs had 
hurried the proceedings, in order to leave no place in the 
Council unfilled ; the election had been intentionally not 
limited to members of the conspiracy, but partially ex- 
tended to others, in order to avoid the appearance of a 
party government : Phrynichus in particular had been 
unwearied in including, by all kinds of intrigue, even 
honest patriots, whom he thus, as it were, made against 
their will share in the guilt of the coup d'etat. How 
erroneously it was impossible to calculate in these ma- 
noeuvres, is evident, e. g., from the mistake committed in 
the choice of Leon and Diomedon. 

It was not until after the commencement of the govern- 
ment, that many of the members of the new Council 
arrived at a clear understanding of the principles and in- 
tentions actuating the authors of the innovation, and per- 
ceived the impossibility of acting in conjunction with 
them. But a decisive influence was exercised by the re- 
turn of the envoys from Samos. For, since the army had 
so unanimously identified itself with the cause of the con- 
stitution, the government in the city was stamped with a 
revolutionary character; Alcibiades, whose return had 

478 History of Greece. {Vqok. IV. 

with many formed the motive for consenting to a change 
of the constitution, and was to compensate them for the 
heaviest of sacrifices which they had imposed upon them- 
selves and their fellow-citizens, — Alcibiades stood at the 
head of the army, and the insidious deception practiced 
by Pisander was now manifest. The great moderation 
displayed by the armed citizens, who had in their hands 
the fate of the city, their calm and loyal adherence to 
their post at Samos, the sensible answer made by Alci- 
biades, — all these contributed to complete the unwilling- 
ness of the doubtful partisans to adhere to the party in 
power ; for they became aware that all the benefits which 
they had anticipated from change in the constitution might 
have been obtained by a far juster and safer mode of pro- 
ceeding; they saw themselves used as the instruments of a 
traitorous faction ; and as, furthermore, it was unsatisfac- 
tory to their ambition to play such a part, the difference 
of opinion which had prevailed from the first now grew 
into open discord in the very midst of the Council. Some 
wished to make concessions ; others again desired, in pro- 
portion to the increase of the danger, to introduce greater 
severity and more thorough measures ; some wished to lay 
open a path for extricating themselves from their diffi- 
culties, while the rest intended at any cost to maintain 
themselves in power. Pre-eminent among the particular 
measures which became contested points, was the question 
of summoning the Five Thousand. The Moderates de- 
manded that this body should be duly convoked ; declaring, 
that at the present Athens was under a purely despotic 
government ; the others wished indefinitely to postpone 
this dangerous step, in order to keep the governing power 
as undivided as possible, and to prevent any outbreak of 
agitation. They considered it necessary, that a state of 
siege should be for the present maintained in the city : 
using for this purpose the foreign bowmen in their hire, 
who more than anything else gave to their government the 

Ch ^- v.] Th e Decelean War. 479 

character of a Tyrannis. These men were barbarians of 
savage aspect, chiefly Iberians, who are mentioned in the 
comedies of the day. They had been distributed in the 
commanding points of the upper and lower city, and 
exercised a system of judicature and police, corresponding 
to the prevailing state of things. The right of public 
meetings, liberty of speech, and of teaching had been 
abolished ; and the party of the fanatics (p. 351), which 
had its representatives in the Council, took advantage of 
this favorable opportunity for resuming their religious per- 
secutions. It was perhaps about this time that a suit was 
instituted against the aged Protagoras, the friend of Peri- 
cles, on account of his book " On Things Divine ;" he was 
forced to seek safety in flight, and the copies of his work 
were publicly burnt in the market-place.* 

But the principal cause of the open divi- Construction 

. . , , , , , . . of a fort in the 

sion which broke out between the parties in Piraeus. 01. 
the Council, was the construction, on the jcn. (b.c. 411.) 

. . May. 

motion of the oligarchic leaders, of fortifica- 
tions in the Piraeeus. Here the rocky peninsula of Eetio- 
nea stretches from the north side towards the mouth of the 
great harbor ; so that from this peninsula it was pos- 
sible for a small garrison completely to control all 
vessels passing in or out. This peninsula was walled 
off in this wise: that the great corn hall and corn-market 
(vol. ii. p. 612) were included in the lines of wall.f The 
cause assigned for this fortification was the necessity of 
guarding the harbor against a sudden attack on the part of 
the troops atSamos ; but from the first the rumor was bruited 

* As to the division of the ifour Hundred into a moderate and an Ex- 
treme party, see Thuc. viii. 89. Pythodorus, the accuser of Protagoras, 
is mentioned as «*s rav TeT^uKoo-iuv by Diog. L. ix. 55. Brandis, Gesch. d. 
Phil. i. 525 ; Meier. The condemnation of Protag. is placed by Meier, 
Opusc. i. 222, in the time of the Hermae trials. The same is the view of 
Sauppe ad PI. Prol. p. vi. As to the Iberian bowmen, see Steph Bv& 
v. 'IjSyjpiai. Bergk, Comment, de Rel. Com. Att. p. 343 sq. 

| Thuc. viii. 90. 

480 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

about, that this fastness was built for the sole purpose of 
receiving Peloponnesian troops. On this question, then, 
the Moderates most decisively opposed themselves to the 
leaders of the conspiracy. The former acknowledged as 
their heads Theramenes and Aristocrates ; the latter Phry- 
nichus, Pisander, Antiphon, Aristarchus and Callseschrus. 
Each party henceforth acted in opposition to the other ; 
and the consequence of this contention could only be, that 
the real oligarchs, whose dangers from the army, citizens 
and from their own colleagues increased day by day, pro- 
ceeded successively to measures of increasing desperateness. 
Nothing remained for them, but to call in Sparta ; and, 
although they would have gladly maintained Athens as an 
independent state, together with her maritime dominion, 
yet they were resolved, if no other way should be left open 
to them, to rule their native city even under the protection 
of Peloponnesian troops; for in their eyes 

Oligarchic de- . _ _ \ 

putation to the supremacy of their party passed all 
Sparta. other considerations. Antiphon, Phryni- 

chus, and Archeptolemus accordingly proceeded to Sparta, 
in order to enter into fresh negotiations. Of the result no 
tidings reached the people ; but this fact only tended to 
aggravate the suspicions aroused by these secret proceed- 
ings; while the prevailing fears were increased by the 
circumstance, that a Peloponnesian fleet lay ready for 
sailing in the ports of Lacedsemon. 

And now the opposite party restrained 
•f Phrynichus. itself no longer ; for they perceived their 
own ruin to be involved in the completion of 
the fastness in the Pirseeus, and in the success of these 
treasonable designs. The Moderates were their only chance 
of safety in joining the popular party. Thus, then, a 
counter-revolution was plotting among the Four Hundred 
themselves ; and in secret conferences the victims were 
marked out, who were to be sacrificed to the hatred of the 
citizens, and sacrificed with all possible publicity, in order 

Chap, v.] The Decelean War. 481 

to test the power of the despots in authority. The first 
object of vengeance was Phrynichus. Scarcely had he 
returned from the odious embassy to Sparta, when he was 
assassinated one evening, not far from the Council-house, 
in the densely crowded market-place. The assassin effected 
his escape ; but Apollodorus, a participator in his crime, 
was seized. Both belonged to the mercenaries hired by 
the Four Hundred ; thus even these troops proved un- 
trustworthy, and even of them, part were in the hands of 
the adverse faction. Though, even when submitted to 
torture, Apollodorus could not be brought to confess the 
names of those who had given him the order, yet he avowed 
that the conspirators were many in number, and that 
they held their meetings in the house of the commander 
of the police-soldiers, and in the dwellings of the citizens. 
These confessions terrified the majority, who ventured 
upon no decisive measures. Some secretly quitted the 
city; the rest knew not what step to take next: an increase 
in the severity of suppressive regulations being impossible. 
The Moderates accordingly- advanced all the more reso- 
lutely; no secret plots were any longer necessary; and 
they established an understanding with the general body 
of the citizens, in order to prepare an open, revolt.* 

The first signal for this revolt was given 
in the Pirseeus; the civic troops, charged . The citizens 
with the construction ot the fortifications m government. 
Eetionea, rose against the government, and 
made a prisoner of their commander, Aristocles ; Hermon, 
the commander of the garrison of Munychia, joined the 

* Assassination of Phrynichus: Thuc. viii. 92. As the use of both 
preposition and article proves no date to be derivable from the expres- 
sion iv ttj ayopa ir\r)6oti<Tr] in Thuc. viii. 92, I can discover no contradic- 
tion between his statement and that of Lycurg. in Leocr. $ 112 (fwriop^ 
such as has been found by Bergk, KirchhofF, Rauchenstcin, and others. 
After the pause at noon, the city market used to fill again, and in the 
summer remained crowded up to night-time. Cf. the author's Att. Sttt' 
dien, ii. 44. 


482 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

movement ; and the whole port-town stood under arm* 
against the Four Hundred. In the Council a party still 
existed which desired to resort to force ; but the majority 
perceived the necessity of attempting conciliatory measures 
and was induced by Theramenes to send him 
down as commissioner of the government. 
He received the complaints of the troops, found them just, 
and combined with the party in revolt to pull down the 
half-finished fort. In the theatre at Munychia a civic as- 
sembly was held ; from this point the citizens marched in 
an orderly procession to Athens, where they took up their 
position under arms in the Anaceum, the sacred enclosure 
of the Dioscuri, at the base of the temple of the city god- 
dess — on the same place where every citizen had sworn, as 
a youth on the threshold of manhood, to defend his native 
city, and to maintain her dominions unimpaired by water 
and by land, and to pledge his life in defence of the laws 
of the city against any attack whatsoever. 

But while mindful of this oath, they were at the same 
time animated by an unwonted feeling of self-restraint. 
The fate of the city lay in their hands ; the Council was 
utterly powerless, and might fall as a victim to their anger ; 
and yet they gave audience to the deputies, who came over 
to them from the Council-house, and who individually be- 
sought them to maintain public tranquillity and order ; 
they even entertained the proposal that the Council should 
continue to administrate the government, but should at the 
same time convoke the Five Thousand, and supplement 
its own numbers from the latter body. For the purpose 
of settling these measures, a day was fixed, on which con- 
cord was to be restored in a public assembly of the com- 
munity. And already the multitude was assembling at 
the appointed hour in the theatre, in order to accomplish 
the work of union, and to re-establish the free Attic com- 
monwealth : when suddenly the news spread, that a fleet 
of forty-two sail was approaching from the direction of 

Chap, v.] TJie Decelean War. 483 

Megara and rounding Salamis. Hereupon it was natu- 
rally, and not without grounds, asserted, that this was the 
fleet concerning which Theramenes had informed them, 
that its proceedings were regulated by an understanding 
with the Four Hundred. Immediately all capable of 
bearing arms rushed to the Pineeus, in order to defend the 
harbor against the foes, both foreign and domestic. The 
ships lying in the harbor were manned, and others rapidly 
lowered into the water ; the walls were provided with 
guards, and the entrances to the harbor closed. The Spar- 
tan admiral, Agesandridas, led the fleet past the harbor, 
and the immediate danger was past. 

But soon new dangers were perceived to 
beat hand. The fleet rounded Sunium, Defeat of the 
and made for Oropus. The safety of Oropus. 01. 
Euboea was now at stake. Once more the 5?Jk r lm ( B-c * 

411) June. 

Athenians hurried to the ships ; with the 
utmost haste a squadron was made ready, the command 
of which was given to a citizen of the name of Thyrao- 
chares, who was rapidly to effect a junction with the other 
ships in the Eubcean waters. Six-and-thirty ships met at 
Euboea, the enemy lying opposite at Oropus. As yet 
nothing seemed lost ; and the Athenians were full of 
ardor for battle. But in this instance again their evil 
fortune raised against them enemies, both before them and 
in their rear. The Eretrieans meditated treason. When 
the Athenians wished to buy their provisions, they found 
the market in the vicinity of the sea deserted ; and were 
forced to rush as far as the most distant streets, in order 
to procure the most necessary supplies. When, therefore, 
the signal for the start was given, the crews were not com- 
plete ; and the fleet was forced to set sail, in a state of 
great disorder, against the enemy, who had received from 
Eretria his signal for advancing. The 
Athenians, notwithstanding, held their own Loss of Euboea. 
in the first part of the battle, but they were 

484 History of Greece. [ BooK IV - 

soon overpowered and driven back upon the shore ; those 
who fled to Eretria were there cut down by the citizens ; 
twenty-two ships fell into the hands of the enemy, and in 
the course of a few days the whole island was lost to 
Athens, with the exception of Oreus, the ancient Histiaea 
(vol. ii. p. 451), which was in the hands of Attic 

When the news of the battle in the Euboean sound, and 
of its consequences, reached Athens, even the best lost 
heart ; for this calamity far surpassed even the Sicilian. 
Euboea, it must be remembered, could be worse spared by 
the Athenians than even their own country; moreover, 
they were now without either ships, or money, or men ; 
the army had been torn away from the civic body, the 
community at home was divided in itself, the Council in 
secret communication with the enemy, and Agis with a 
menacing army before the walls. What else, then, could 
be anticipated, but that Agesandridas would immediately 
make his appearance off the Pirseeus? If a simultaneous 
attack were made from Decelea, a successful resistance 
was inconceivable ; it seemed as if the treasonable plans 
of the oligarchs were to be crowned with victory even in 
the last hour. For, even if the army at Samos were to 
hasten to the rescue of the city, it was to be presumed 
that it would arrive too late; and if Samos were given 
up, Ionia and the Hellespont would be at the same time 
sacrificed, and all the glory of Athens, both empire and 
city, destroyed at once. In short, the Athenians were 
prepared for the annihilation of their state. 

But the enemy remained motionless. Taken by sur- 
prise by his own successes, he was unable to make use of 
them. Agis and Agesandridas never thought of making 
a combined attack upon the city, and allowed the Athe- 
nians full leisure to recover from their first terror. They 

*Thuc. viii. 91—95. 

Chap, v.] The Decelean War. 485 

accordingly manned twenty more ships, in order to defend 
their harbors, and then applied themselves seriously to 
bringing order into their domestic affairs ; for they felt 
that they could not work their way out of the troubles of 
the present, "unless they had first obtained a firm footing 
at home, and established a legal constitution. 
Shortly after the defeat in the Euboean 

, • i n /» t n i The Four Hun- 

SOUnd, about the middle or June, we find dred deposed. 

the citizens again assembled in their ancient 01, / , 1 X 1 C \ 1 ' T 1 ' ^' 

b C.*411.) June. 

place on the Pny^:, whence they had been 
banished by the rule of the despotic government. The 
proceedings were carried on with perfect calm, but with 
determination and vigor. The Council was deposed, and 
the supreme sovereignty of the state restored to the peo- 
ple — not, however, to the entire multitude ; for the prin- 
ciple was retained of reserving full civic rights to a com- 
mittee of men of a certain amount of property ; and, as 
the lists of the Five Thousand had never been drawn up, 
it was decreed, in order that the desired end might be 
speedily reached, to follow the precedent of similar insti- 
tutions in other states, and to constitute all 
Athenians, able to furnish themselves with a s tu u tion. W 
complete military equipment from their own 
resources, full citizens, with the rights of voting and parti- 
cipating in the government. Thus the name of the Five 
Thousand had now become a very inaccurate designation ; 
but it was retained, because men had in the last tew months 
become habituated to it At the same time, the abolition 
of pay for civic offices and functions was decreed, not 
merely as a temporary measure, but as a fundamental 
principle of the new commonwealth, which the citizens 
were bound by a solemn oath to maintain. This reform 
was, upon the whole, a wise combination of aristocracy and 
democracy ; and, according to the opinion of Thucydides, 
the best constitution which the Athenians had hitherto pos- 
sessed. On the motion of Critias, the recall of Alcibiades 

486 History of Greece. [Book I v. 

was decreed about the same time ; and a deputation was 
despatched to Samos, to accomplish the union between 
army and city. The work thus begun was continued in 
repeated assemblies of the citizens ; and a legislative com- 
mittee was appointed to revise the constitution after the 
recent disturbance of the public laws, and to make every- 
thing harmonize with the principles now sanctioned. This 
committee was to complete its labors within a term of four 

The most influential personage in this pe- 
di d aUon able dis- riodwas Theramenes. As no less severe a 
played by the judge than Aristotle reckons him among 
ramenes. * ne best citizens whom Athens ever pos- 

sessed, we may be sure that his merits con- 
sisted not merely in his having, more than any one else, 
contributed to frustrate the treasonable efforts of the party 
which was prepared to proceed to extremities, but princi- 
pally in his having, after the overthrow of that party, suc- 
ceeded in preventing the outbreaks of passion which would 
have ruined the state, in effecting a reconciliation among 
the different members of the community, and in thus 
achieving a result which is among the rarest of all in poli- 
tical life. We see the failure of a coup oVetat, which had 
laid impious hands upon all the most sacred possessions of 
a civic community — upon its equality before the law, and 
liberty of conscience and speech, as well as its independ- 
ence ; and yet there ensues no violent revulsion in the op- 
posite direction, no sanguinary and revengeful reaction ; 
but the cruelly deluded and deeply insulted community, 
after recovering the whole of the supreme power, is so well 

* As to the counter-revolution, see Thuc. viii. 96. The Athenians o^x 
f]KL<TTa, rov TrpuiTOv \povov ctti y' i/xov (fxxivovTat. ev iro\tTevaavTes. Recall of 
AJc, under the co-operation of Theramenes, on the motion of Critias: 
Plut. Ale. 33 (yi'WM'J V o" e Karijyay', eyw Tavrqv ev anaatv elmv). Cf. Corn. 
Nepos, Alcib. 7; Diod. xiii. 38. As to the Nomothetse, see Schumann, 
Opmc. Ac. i. 250; Bergk ad Schiller. Andoc. p. 145. 

Chap. V.] The Decelean War. 487 

able to put restraint upon itself, that it readily acknow- 
ledges the rational and opportune ideas lying at the foun- 
dation of the oligarchical plans of reform, and adopts them 
as a standard in settling the new order of things. If it is 
remembered how in other states, e. g. y in Corcyra (p. 136), 
similar events were wont to be accompanied by the most 
tremendous eruptions of party fury : it must be acknow- 
ledged that the Athenian people on no occasion acted with 
greater wisdom and moderation, than on this. The con- 
duct of the city population, as well as of the army at Sa- 
mos, offers a splendid testimony to the moral excellence 
still existing in the heart of the civic body ; the ill fortunes 
of the state had contributed again to arouse and strengthen 
civic virtues ; and inasmuch as this high-minded conduct 
also immediately inspired the entire state with new courage 
and new force, and enabled it once more to overcome the 
terrible blows of fate, we are probably justified in number- 
ing those who in these civic critical times were the speak- 
ers and advisers of the body, among the greatest benefac- 
tors of Athens.* 

In the midst of this gradual transition from one consti- 
tion to the other — some of the most important institutions 
of the former being actually included in the latter — it was 
of course, impossible to regard previous participation in the 
government of the Four Hundred as in itself punishable. 
Had not members of that government become the pre- 
servers of the state? On the other hand, upon other 
members of the Council the suspicion of the greatest 
crime against the state had fallen so heavily, that their 
case could not be allowed to pass without notice. Accord- 
i Q gly> public prosecutors were named, and a judicial com- 
mission of inquiry was appointed, in order to call to 
account all the members of the Council. Many of them 
were acquitted of all guilt. Those who evaded their re- 

* For Aristotle's opinion of Theramenes, see Plut. Niciaa, 2. 

488 History of Greece. [ EooK Iv - 

sponsibility and passed over into the camp of the enemy, 
e. p'.jPisander, were condemned. Aristarchus had not only 
escaped, but had even taken with him a body of the 
Iberian bowmen to CEnoe (p. 59), which was at that time 
undergoing a siege by Corinthians and Boeotians. He had 
deluded the garrison, which regarded him as a member of 
the government, into the belief that the fortress had been 
ceded in a recently concluded treaty; and had thus 
brought one of the most important ports on the frontier 
into the enemy's hands. The punishment of treason sub- 
sequently befell him. Personally, only two of the most 
influential authors of the coup d'etat, Archeptolemus and 
Antiphon, were arraigned before the judges. 

The aged Antiphon had refused to seek 

t^hon* ° f An " sa ^ et y m flight J ana *> although without any 
hopes of success, for the last time exerted 
all the powers of his mind manfully to defend the princi- 
ples upon which he had acted. The charge against him 
rested particularly upon the last embassy to Sparta, the 
construction of the fort in the Pineeus, and the connection 
between these measures and the naval expedition of 
Agesandridas. The whole of Antiphon's speech " on the 
changes in the constitution" was a masterpiece of elo- 
quence, which called forth exceeding admiration, but it 
was unable to save his life. He failed to remove the sus- 
picion resting upon the embassy to Sparta, and in vain en- 
deavored to show that the Four Hundred had acted as 
one equally responsible body, and that, therefore, either 
all ought to be punished or all acquitted.* 

Thus ended, in the summer of B.C. 411, immediately 

* According to Thuc. viii. 08, Antiphon's speech *repi /meTaora<rea>? con- 
stituted the Lest defence of the coup d'etat. In the fragmentary remains 
of that speech (Harpocr. Srao-iwTTjs, 'E^noS^v) reference seems to be made 
to an unjustifiable separation of the parties involved; this is indicated 
by the distinction drawn between the Tvpawoi an d the &opv(f>6poi, — Onomo- 
cles, the third person subjected to trial, had previously taken his depar- 
ture ( Vit. x. orat. 833). 

c » Al> - v.] The Decelecui War. 4S9 

after the commencement of 01. xcii. 2, one hundred years 
after th^ fall of the Pisistratidse, the four months' Tyrannis 
of the oligarchs. It had only been made possible by the 
unconstitutional power of the political clubs, who had in 
the Hermse prosecutions tried their strength for bolder 
undertakings ; it had been accomplished by means of the 
unusual talents of its supporters, aided by the favorable 
sentiments of the wealthier classes ; but it could not last, 
because the main body of the people held fast to the con- 
stitution — because what was left of the naval dominion 
of Athens, was only preserved by the democratic party, 
and because at Athens itself it was impossible to reconcile 
the honor and independence of the state with an oligarchi- 
cal form of government. Even those who meant honestly 
by their native city, were forced to seek a reserve in 
Sparta, and thus to prepare the ruin of the Attic common- 
wealth. But the majority of the party were, as their last 
steps proved, mere selfish traitors, who were ready, for the 
sake of gratifying their ambition, to sacrifice their native 
city. And yet, notwithstanding its brief endurance, and 
the utter impossibility of its enduring, the reign of this 
party did not pass without leaving its vestiges behind. 
The power of the state had received wounds which could 
never be healed ; its weakness had become more manifest 
than ever to the foe ; and Sparta had tested the strength 
of her following in Athens. The blood of Athenian citi- 
zens had again flowed in the city ; ancient houses had been 
pulled down, and pillars of shame erected as remem- 
brances of the reign of terror ; and a series of prose- 
cutions for high treason and confiscations of property 
had sown a seed of enmity, which shot up with great 
rapidity. For an era of agitation had begun, in which it 
was thought to make up for the neglect of the days of 
generous moderation. Even the dead was now brought up 
to judgment; the murder, with which the rising had first 
commenced, was to be made to appear in the light of a 


490 History of Greece. t B °o K IV. 

thoroughly justifiable act; and therefore all the hatred 

provoked in the minds of the citizens against the despotic 

rule of the oligarchy was accumulated upon the head of 

Phrynichus, who had originally been a de- 

The trials con- c ided opponent of the enemies of the con- 
cerning Phry- ..tit . l-i- 
nichus. stitution, and had only been involved in 

their intrigues by external circumstances. 
A defence of the murdered man was only permitted with 
this reservation : that, in case of a verdict of condemna- 
tion, the defender was to be accounted guilty of the same 
crime as Phrynichus. After the latter had in his grave 
been convicted of high treason, and his bones cast out be- 
yond the frontiers of Attica, his assassins were now able 
to reap the full glory of tyrant-slayers and liberating 
heroes ; they were admitted to the citizenship, presented 
with part of the confiscated property, and honored with 
mention upon public monuments ; the whole proceeding 
being, as it were, a centenary celebration of the first lib- 
eration of Athens, by Harmodius and Aristogiton. But 
these transactions occupied a long time in their accom- 
plishment ; for a variety of very doubtful characters now 
gave in their names, declaring themselves to have taken 
part in the nocturnal scene of murder, and claiming their 
share of honors and rewards. Even the honors belonging 
to the two chief perpetrators of the deed, Thrasybulus and 
Apollodorus, gave occasion to various objections, which 
were discussed by extraordinary committees ; so that the 
whole business was not finally settled until nineteen months 
after the death of Phrynichus, in March, B.C. 410 (01. 
xcii. 3).* 

Thus, political passions had been allowed 

Effects of the i , » , , , 

Tyrannical rule to break out arresh ; and several persons, 

H d h d F ° Ur wno * n *^ e course °f * ne nrs ^ inquiry ap- 
peared to Lave escaped without much hurt, 

* The popular decree in honor of the murderers, belonging to the year 
of Glaucippus (01. xcii. 3), is preserved in a fragment discovered by 

Chap, v.] Tlie Deeelean War. 491 

were called to a supplementary account: particularly 
tLose who could be proved to have adhered to the Council 
even after the destruction of the fort at Pirseeus. Search 
after the traces of Tyrannical intrigues was carried on 
as actively as before ; and no man could even now feel 
secure in his own house. On the motion of Demophantus 
it was decreed that the penalty of high treason should in 
future be also extended to those who accepted any office 
from an unconstitutional government. Thus it was endea- 
vored to anticipate the dangers of new coups d'etat ; and, 
in truth, the oligarchical party had, notwithstanding its 
defeat, been far from rooted out ; the speech bequeathed 
as a kind of legacy by Antiphon to his political friends 
•exercised an enduring effect upon them, and they only 
waited for a more favorable opportunity for bringing about 
the realization of their plans. 

Meanwhile events abroad had passed into a totally new 
phase, occasioned partly by the change in the supreme 
command of the Spartan fleet, partly by the new pro- 
ceedings on the part of Alcibiades. 

Alcibiades had already exercised an 
important influence upon the destinies of Active influx 
nis native city. He had created a nrm and biades. 
courageous spirit in the Attic army ; he 
had renewed the ancient alliance with Argos ; he had 
prevented the expedition of vengeance against Athens, 
which would have formed the commencement of the most 
disastrous civil war ; he had rendered the foreign foe 
harmless, by most skillfully contriving to foster the mutual 
suspicions between Persia and Sparta ; and, similarly, he 
had helped to overcome the enemy at home, the oligarchy; 
for it was his message which had produced the first divi- 
sion in the Council of* the Four Hundred, and which had 
thus led to its overthrow. Lastly, he had, by means of a 

Bergk (Zeitcher.f. A. W. 1847, p. 1099) and restored by Kirchhoff {Phil. 
xiii. p. 16, and ftfonatsber. d. Berlin. Akad. 1801, p. 603). 

492 History of Greece. I*™* iv. 

declaration in favor of a limited popular government; 
essentially aided in the establishment of the new constitu- 
tion. In all these efforts he had succeeded, without resort- 
ing to force of arms, by his personal influence, and by a 
sagacious use of the circumstances of the times. He was 
now to show as a general that he was still the man who 
held in his hand the fortunes of war, and who was able to 
heal the wounds inflicted by himself upon his native city. 
It was now time, once more to conduct the Attic triremes 
to an offensive war, which was alone capable of restoring 
to the Athenians their ancient confidence in their ships : 
it behooved Alcibiades to show them, how pecuniary means 
were to be procured, even without the regular influx of 
the tributes, and how even under the present circum- 
stances the Attic arms might recover their ancient fame. 
He accordingly, during the months suc- 
His cruises, ceeding upon the restoration of the consti- 

01. xcii. 2. (b.c. . ° . , . , , „ 

411.) Summer, tution, cruised with a squadron of twenty- 
two ships off the coasts of Caria, levied 
forced contributions upon the wealthy cities of Hali- 
carnassus and Cnidus, fortified the island of Cos, accus- 
tomed his ships by practice to rapid expeditions, and 
established a personal influence over the crews by procu- 
ring them rich booty. In spite of the Rhodians (who even 
at that date were already aiming at the establishment of 
a naval supremacy of their own), and notwithstanding 
the proximity of the Persian fleet, the Carian waters were 
again entirely in the power of Athens, and more money 
was drawn from the revolted cities, than had ever been 
paid by them as tribute. He then, in the beginning of 
autumn, turned northwards, in order to unite with the 
rest of the fleet for the purpose of a decisive struggle; for 
the main theatre of war had in the meantime been 
removed from Miletus to the Hellespont. 

For it had been resolved at Sparta to 

Mindarus. . P . A -• 

change the course ot operations. Accord- 

chap, v.] The Decelean War. 493 

ingly, in the spring, the indolent and untrustworthy 
Astyochus had been superseded in the command of the 
fleet by a brave Spartiate of the name of Mindarus, 
a man who, after the fashion of Lichas (p. 457), as- 
sumed a very resolute bearing towards the satrap. Once 
more a demand was made for the junction of the Pelo- 
ponnesian and Phoenician fleets, by which the whole 
war might be brought to a speedy termination. Tissa- 
phernes was even now desirous of avoiding an open rup- 
ture, and in order to display the semblance of zeal, per- 
sonally travelled to the south coast for the purpose of 
summoning the royal fleet. But the latter remained now, 
as before, at anchor behind the Lycian promontories near 
Aspendus; seemingly held by a magical charm to the 
boundary which the victories of Cimon had assigned to 
the naval dominion of Persia (vol. ii. p. 456). But the 
real reason lay in the obstinate consistency, with which 
Tissaphernes carried out his policy. For, had the 147 
Phoenician ships joined the Lacedsemonians, he would 
have giveu to the latter an undeniable superiority of 
strength in the Ionian Sea ; and this he wished at any 
cost to avoid. Pecuniary interests may also have contri- 
buted to determine his conduct, the Phoenicians evincing 
their gratitude towards the satrap for allowing them to 
remain in their safe hiding-place. In short, Tissaphernes y 
under empty pretences, once more excused the non-appear- 
ance of the fleet, and at the same time caused the sub- 
sidies to be paid more negligently than ever. The mea- 
sure of the Spartans' patience was now full. They per- 
ceived the folly of remaining any longer in Ionia on 
account of the Phoenician fleet. Mindarus 
accordingly determined completely to break removes the war 
off his connection with Tissaphernes — a l™™ *? ma *° 

r the Hellespont. 

connection which had brought upon Sparta 
nothing but shame ; and, instead, he gave ear to the pro- 
posals of Pharnabazus, in order, in conjunction with him, 

494 History of Greece. [Book IV. 

to despoil the Athenians of the cities on the Hellespont. 
Thus, after an irrecoverable loss of time, the entire Ionian 
war was abandoned.* 

The new plan of operations had already been for some 
time in preparation. For, as early as the beginning of 
the summer, Dercyllidas had, with a small body of troops, 
entered the satrapy of Pharnabazus from Miletus, and 
had caused the defection of two of the most important 
places, Abydus and Lampsacus, from the Athenians. 
Furthermore, a squadron of forty ships, under Clearchus, 
had also already advanced in the same direction ; and, 
although only the fourth part of it, under a Megarean 
sea-captain, had succeeded in reaching the goal, yet he 
had induced the important city of Byzantium to revolt. 
After, then, such important results had been obtained by 
means so small, it was resolved immediately to transfer 
the whole war into that quarter ; for the importation of 
supplies from the Hellespont was known to be more indis- 
pensable than ever to the Athenians since the loss of 
Euboea. The two sounds of the northern seas constituted 
the last prop of the naval dominion of Athens ; and these 
were already half in the hands of the Peloponnesians. 
Mindarus, accordingly, set sail in July with seventy-three 
ships from Miletus, and at the same time ordered all the 
scattered squadrons of the Peloponnesians to move to the 
Hellespont : where all the forces engaged in the war now 
assembled for decisive battles. For the Athenians, for 
their part, who had hitherto been only able to oppose 
small divisions of their fleet to the proceedings in the 
Hellespont, now immediately set out from Samos with 
their entire naval force under Thrasybulus and Thrasylus, 
in order to follow closely upon Mindarus ; 

Two battles , -. ,-. j n t ^ 

at Abydus. 01. an d as early as the end 01 J uly, a great 

xeil 2. (b.c. nava l battle was fought near Abydus, in 

which the intelligence and bravery of the 

*Thuc. viii. 99, f. 

Chap. V.] The Decelean War. 495 

Attic commanders successfully coped with the united 
fleets of the Peloponnesians and Syracusans. For, 
although the proximity of the shores made it impossible 
effectively to pursue the enemy, yet the victory was of 
extreme importance : the timidity which had possessed the 
Athenian sailors, ever since the Sicilian calamity, had 
been successfully overcome ; and in Athens itself the 
unexpected news of victory called forth new life and new 
hopes ; the sultry atmosphere of gloomy forebodings 
cleared up ; and once more a belief revived in the possi- 
bility of a new era of greatness being yet in store for the 

Meanwhile, both fleets awaited the arrival of fresh rein- 
forcements for continuing the war with greater vigor. 
Agesandridas approached with fifty ships from Euboea, 
but, in rounding Athos, he was befallen by the winter- 
storms, which destroyed his whole fleet on the same rocks 
on which the armada of Mardonius had been shipwrecked 
of old. Another squadron of fourteen vessels under 
Dorieus was attacked by the Athenians before it could 
effect its junction with the main body. But the circum- 
spect Mindarus succeeded in putting out with his fleet 
from Abydus at the right time, and rescuing the auxiliary 
squadron. His force now numbering ninety 
sail, he offered battle to the Athenians, October, 
having in his favor both superiority of 
numbers and the advantage of the shore being covered by 
the troops of Pharnabazus. The battle continued all day 
long in the sound of the sea, without arriving at a deci- 
sive result ; and already victory was inclining to the side 
of the Peloponnesians, when